Camfleld, M. D. / Robert S. Fisher, M. D. , Ph. D. ). Asudden surge of electrical activity in the brain that affects how the person feels or acts for a short period of time are called seizures. Seizures not being diseases are more like symptoms of many disorders that can affect the brain. Most seizures are noticeable, and then there are some of those that can’t really be seen or are hardly even noticed. Based on prior knowledge and real observations, people who suffer from epilepsy is usually either really outgoing, or they really keep to themselves.
The seizures in epilepsy may be related to a brain injury or a family tendency, but often the cause is completely unknown. The word “epilepsy” does not indicate anything about the cause or severity of the person’s seizures (http://www. epilepsy. com/101/ep101 _seizure). Symptoms of an early seizure or epilepsy include d©J¤ vu, visual loss or blurring, racing thoughts, stomach feelings, strange feelings, tingling, fear or panic, dizziness, headaches, blackout, stiffening, eyes rolling, confusion, shaking, heart racing, twitching ovements, etc.
Epilepsy can develop in any person at any age. 0. 5% to 2% of people will develop epilepsy during their lifetime. People with certain conditions may be at greater risk. About 2. 7 million Americans have been treated for epilepsy in the past 5 years. That’s 8 or 9 out of every 1,000 people. In other words, out of 60,000 people filling a big stadium, about 500 have epilepsy. More men than women have epilepsy (Steven C. Schachter, M. D. ). The cause of epilepsy is unknown for almost more than half of the people who have epilepsy.
There is a fine balance in the brain between factors that begin electrical activity and factors that restrict it, and there are also systems that limit the spread of electrical activity. During a seizure, these limits break down, and abnormal electrical discharges can occur and spread to whole groups of neighboring cells at once. This linkage of electrical discharges creates a “storm” of electrical activity in the brain. This is a seizure. When a person has had at least two of these seizures, this is called epilepsy. Those who do develop epilepsy are more likely to have a history of seizures in their family.
This family history suggests that it is easier for them to develop epilepsy than for others with no genetic predisposition. (Steven C. Schachter, M. D. 2006). Way back in history ancient Greeks thought you got epilepsy by offending by the moon goddess Selene. One cure was eating mistletoe that was picked without using a sickle or blade during the time the moon is smallest in the sky. The mistletoe could not touch the ground, because then it would not be ffective against the “falling sickness”, because it had fallen itself.
In 400 BC, Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, wrote a book saying that people do not get epilepsy from the gods, because that would be thinking bad of the gods. His cure for epilepsy was medicine and diet based on his own unscientific theories of the balance between hot and cold. The religious cure of the time was to sleep in the temple overnight and hope that the god Asclepius would appear in a dream and cure you or tell you how to get cured (Oracle, ThinkQuest). In the past century or so, people with pilepsy were not allowed to marry nor were they allowed to have children.
In Nazi Germany and even in America in the 1920’s, they were given an operation to prevent them from ever having children. Medicines such as potassium bromide and phenobarbital were invented, and helped people not have seizures. Bromides had bad side effects, but allowed some people with epilepsy to live normal lives. Phenobarbital was better, but it did not help everyone. The treatment for todays epilepsy is determined by your doctor. First thing first, your doctor needs to etermine what type of epilepsy you have.
The treatment that controls one type of epilepsy may not have the same effect on the others. Usually medicine is the first approach, so prescribing antiepileptic medication will help prevent seizures in more than half of the people whom they were prescribed to. Other medicines that are used to treat or help prevent epilepsy are carbatrol, zarontin, Topamax, trileptal, cerebyx, primidone, mysoline, luminal, etc. “Life is merely a fracas on an unmapped terrain, and the universe a geometry stricken with epilepsy. ” – Emile M. Cioran