How Common Is Epilepsy

In General, Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that affects people of all ages. It occurs when the cluster of nerve cells in the brain gets damaged and causes a surge of electrical signals in the brain abnormally. These damaged nerve cells or neurons cause seizures among epileptic individuals. Neurons are fundamental units of the brain as they are responsible for transmitting electrical impulses throughout the body.

Any damage to neurons can lead to nervous system disorder. In the case of epilepsy, different individuals diagnosed with it may experience different types of seizures. The intensity and severity of seizure attacks may vary, depending on the individual.

World Health Organization

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), epilepsy is one of the most common neurological diseases globally, as the data reveals that around 50 million people are affected with epilepsy worldwide. It further showed that around 80 percent of those who are affected by this disorder are living in low- or medium-income countries.   

Symptoms Of Epilepsy

This disorder can deteriorate the quality of life of the individual and their families also suffer and face difficulties due to their condition. Moreover, The symptoms of epilepsy may be different among individuals, that may include the:

  • Temporary confusion
  • Stiffness in muscles
  • Staring spells
  • Loss of awareness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Uncontrollable jerking movements of the body, especially arms and legs
  • Psychological disorders like anxiety, fear, déjà vu.

Type Of Chronic Condition

This is a type of chronic condition that happens because of some abnormal surge of electrical signals going on in the brain. The sudden and profound spikes in the electrical signals are caused due to the damaged nerve cells in the brain. These spikes give rise to repeated seizure attacks, which make such individuals exhibit some sudden changes in their behavior, emotions, and awareness. They might lose muscle control and remain insensitive to bodily sensations throughout the body owing to seizures.   

Let us have a look at some factors, that can make an individual susceptible to epileptic disorder:

  • Family history

Epilepsy can run in the family. This may stem from some genetic mutations that can change the gene pattern, thus increasing the possibility of epilepsy. The infant may inherit this genetic disorder and at some point, the symptoms of epilepsy might start emerging. Genetic predisposition can be a possible cause of epilepsy.

  • Traumatic head injury

A sudden blow on the head due to an accidental fall can lead to a life-long injury to the brain. It might cause a deep wound and the individual may even have internal bleeding, which causes clot formation. The clot can hinder the blood supply to certain parts of the brain, which can deprive the brain of adequate blood, and as a result, the cells might get damaged. This can potentiate the risk of epilepsy.

  • Brain Tumor

Moreover, Tumors are the mass of cells that gets accumulated at a particular area of the brain. It can affect the function of surrounding cells. They can interrupt signal transmission and enhance the possibility of epileptic disorders. 

  • Neurological Disorders

Other disorders that are also related to the nervous system, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, cerebrovascular disorders, dementias, etc. can impact brain function, and lead to epilepsy.

  • Weak immune system

Those with a weak immune system are more prone to infectious diseases due to viruses, bacteria, pathogens, and parasitic infections. Individuals diagnosed with such infectious diseases, for example, Meningitis, HIV, etc. are at a greater risk of getting affected with epilepsy and seizure disorders. 

Effective Ways To Prevent Epilepsy

  • A head injury to the infant that is caused during birth can potentiate the risk of epilepsy. This is why it is necessary to take utter care during the prenatal stages.
  • Sportspersons must be extra careful with their movements; they might accidentally get injured in the head. 
  • Not only sportspersons but also every individual must protect themselves from getting injured in the head, which will prevent post-traumatic injury. 
  • Individuals diagnosed with heart diseases, cardiovascular disorders, high blood pressure (hypertension), etc. have a likelihood of suffering stroke. Stroke can cause epilepsy.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol and tobacco excessively. They can have a damaging impact on the brain cells.
  • In case you have developed some infections, then it is necessary to get them diagnosed and treated, otherwise, such infections can cause damage to your brain and lead to epilepsy. 

The lowdown      

Epilepsy disorder is quite common. It is a neurological condition that affects brain function, thereby making people more susceptible to suffering from persistent unprovoked seizure attacks. Mostly, citizens of low or medium-income countries suffer from this disorder. It can be prevented. There are indeed treatments available that can help in managing the symptoms. 

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