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What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder characterized by repeated seizures caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. To diagnose epilepsy, it is necessary for the person to experience multiple seizures. These seizures can cause sudden, involuntary muscle contractions and twitching, loss of consciousness, and changes in sensory perception.

What Causes Epilepsy?

Although the causes of epilepsy differ for each person, sometimes the exact cause is not known. In general, epilepsy is seen for reasons such as:

  • Hereditary factors

  • Brain tumors

  • Head trauma due to accident and injury

  • Inflammations such as meningitis

  • Damages affecting brain tissue

What Are the Symptoms of Epilepsy?

Symptoms in epilepsy are divided into simple and complex seizures. Simple seizures can be a precursor to the primary seizure. The patient is usually conscious in simple seizures, which are milder than complex seizures. In complex seizures, the patient is unconscious.

Simple Seizure Symptoms

  • Nausea

  • Feeling of fainting

  • Visual, hearing, or speech disorders

  • Excessive sweating

  • Numbness in the body

  • Sudden state of fear

Complex Seizure Symptoms;

  • Loss of consciousness

  • Body twitches and tremors

  • Clenching of teeth

  • Urinary Incontinence

  • Inability to speak

  • Involuntary movements in the arms and legs

  • Foam from the mouth

  • Rapid and sudden eye movements

  • Continuous head nodding

How Is Epilepsy Diagnosed?

Diagnosis of epilepsy often begins with imaging tests such as EEG, MRI, or CT scans. EEG can detect uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain, while MRI and CT scans can help determine if the patient has any hereditary issues. Blood and urine tests may also be performed if deemed necessary by the doctor. The patient's medical history and frequency of seizures are also considered in the diagnosis of epilepsy.

How Is Epilepsy Treated?

In the treatment of epilepsy, two different treatment procedures are applied as medicated and surgical methods. In medicated treatment, it is primarily aimed to eliminate the seizures, not the source of the disease. 65% of epilepsy patients continue their daily lives with the drugs given by the specialist doctor. In patients for whom drug treatment is insufficient, surgical methods are used. After epilepsy surgery, seizures can partially or entirely disappear.

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