Seizure Disorder FAQS

WHAT IS SEIZURE DISORDER

Seizures happen when your brain cells, which communicate through electrical signals, send out the wrong signals. Having just one seizure doesn’t mean you have epilepsy. Generally, several seizures are needed before there is a diagnosis of epilepsy.¬†Epilepsy can happen at any age, but it is most common in the elderly. Many children with epilepsy outgrow the condition. However, even mild seizures that happen more than once should be treated. Seizures can be very dangerous if they happen while you are driving, walking, or swimming.

CAUSES

Seizures are caused by overexcited nerve cells in the brain that fire abnormally. In about half of cases, the cause isn’t known. Some things that can cause seizures include:

  • Abnormal levels of sodium or glucose in the blood
  • Brain infection, including Meningitis
  • Brain injury that occurs to the baby during labor or childbirth
  • Brain problems that occur before birth (congenital brain defects)
  • Brain tumor (rare)
  • Drug abuse
  • Electric shock
  • Epilepsy
  • Fever (particularly in young children)
  • Head injury
  • Heart disease
  • Heat illness (heat intolerance)
  • High fever
  • Phenylketonuria (PKU), which can cause seizures in infants
  • Poisoning
  • Street drugs, such as angel dust (PCP), cocaine, amphetamines
  • Stroke
  • Toxemia of pregnancy
  • Toxin buildup in the body due to liver or kidney failure
  • Very high blood pressure (Malignant Hypertension)
  • Venomous bites and stings (snake bite)
  • Withdrawal from alcohol or certain medicines after using for a long time.

SYMPTOMS

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  • Jerking, muscle rigidity, spasms, head-turning
  • Unusual sensations affecting either the vision, hearing, smell taste, or touch
  • Memory or emotional disturbances
  • Automatisms, such as lip smacking, chewing, fidgeting, walking and other repetitive.
  • Involuntary, but coordinated movements
  • Symptoms that are initially associated with a preservation of consciousness that then evolves into a loss of consciousness and convulsions.

TREATMENT

For people diagnosed with seizure disorder who are experiencing a variety of behavior problems (e.g., non-compliance, tantrums etc.) and/or also a variety of skill deficits (e.g., communication delays, difficulties with social skills etc.), Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is one of the treatment methods. For the medical symptoms, other treatments are possible, such as medication, surgery, Vagus Nerves Stimulation (VNS) and a variety of diets (e.g., Ketogenic diet, modified Atkins diet).

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