What Causes Epilepsy

Epilepsy, also known as seizure disorder, is a type of neurological disorder. Which gives rise to recurring seizures among epileptic individuals. It results because of some abnormal electrical activity happening in the brain, which can be attributed to the damaged cells of the brain. Damage in the brain cells can occur because of various reasons.

Here are the factors that contribute to epileptic disorders:

  • Family history

This type of brain disorder can run in genetics and gets passed on through inheritance. It can be a genetic disorder, but not necessarily, as certain mutations in the genes during the developing stages of an infant can also lead to seizure disorders. However, if this condition has been there in the family, then the chances of members developing this disorder are quite high.

In this case, the individual may inherit an affected gene pattern from their parents which can enhance the likelihood of epilepsy. When you see the doctor, the first thing they might enquire about is whether the cause of your difficulty is based on your genetics.

  • Infections and diseases

Some viral, fungal, bacterial, and parasitic infections can affect brain function and lead to epileptic disorder. Such infections impact the central nervous system (CNS) which is responsible for controlling memory, speech, intelligence, emotion, ability to move and feel. A viral infection can acutely impact the CNS which can give rise to severe epileptic disorder.

Infectious diseases such as HIV, Meningitis, and parasitic or viral infections can contribute to CNS malfunction, thereby increasing the risk of epilepsy. Such conditions can be managed through treatment using antiepileptic drugs, which can help prevent seizures.

  • Tumors in the brain

Tumor formation in the brain can impact brain functions. The tumor is formed when the cells in the brain undergo mutation. Which causes them to grow and multiply abnormally. These cells continue to live while causing the death of the healthy cells. Their fast growth of cells causes the lumps of tissues which develop into tumors. Its growth can affect the surrounding cells and parts of the brain.

These tumors might clog the blood vessels of the brain and hinder the flow of blood. This can potentiate the risk of epilepsy. Individuals diagnosed with a brain tumor may experience seizures. Which is quite a common symptom. Along with seizures, they may even experience symptoms such as headaches, paralysis, dizziness, hearing issues, vision problems, nausea, confusion, vomiting, and numbness.  

  • Traumatic brain injury

An injury to the brain can be caused by a violent blow to the head or a sudden jolt in the event of an accident. It can cause severe damage to the tissues in the brain or even break the skull. Such deep injuries can lead to clogging in the brain. Which can cause a surge of electrical signals in the brain, leading to recurring seizures along with several other problems related to brain dysfunction. Moreover, a condition known as cerebral venous thrombosis can also lead to epilepsy. As it causes blood clot formation between the skull and the brain due to the head injury.

  • Neurological disorders

These disorders are related to the nervous system, that can be extremely detrimental to cognitive function. They cause biochemical or electrical abnormalities in the brain that can cause a range of psychological conditions such as Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, meningitis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, migraine, and cerebrovascular diseases. Individuals suffering from neurological disorders may experience seizures, lack of consciousness, confusion, paralysis, loss of sensations, poor coordination, and weakness of muscles.

When to see the doctor

In case the individual experiences a seizure attack and remains in that condition for more than 5 minutes or experiences recurring attacks one after the other. Then it is necessary to take them to the doctor, otherwise, it might threaten their life. The individual might even lose consciousness after a seizure attack, which requires immediate medical attention.

They might not even get enough time to sense the triggers and the attack can be sudden. Which can cause an injury due to a fall, in this case, proper measures need to be taken to treat the injury and bring the individual back to their senses.

Pregnant women must be extremely careful about the seizure triggers. It is necessary to visit their doctors for a routine checkup. Such individuals are already at a high risk of getting any damage to the fetus. In addition, diabetic individuals also need to be extra careful about their health when they are diagnosed with epileptic disorders.

Epilepsy treatment

The doctor might suggest some tests such as Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, Electroencephalogram (ECG) tests, and blood tests. Based on the reports of these tests, they may prescribe you anti-epilepsy drugs for managing the seizures and eliminating the seizure triggers efficiently.    

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