Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that causes unprovoked, recurrent seizures. A seizure is usually defined as a sudden alteration of behavior due to a temporary change in the electrical functioning of the brain.
The causes of epilepsy are divided into the following categories: structural, genetic, infectious, metabolic, immune and unknown. Examples include:
Seizures are the main symptom of epilepsy. Symptoms differ from person to person and according to the type of seizure.
It doesn’t involve loss of consciousness. Symptoms include; alterations to sense of taste, smell, sight, hearing, or touch, dizziness, tingling and twitching of limbsGeneralized seizures
Generalized seizures involve the whole brain. There are six types:Absence seizures, which used to be called “petit mal seizures,” cause a blank stare. This type of seizure may also cause repetitive movements like lip smacking or blinking. There’s also usually a short loss of awareness.
Tonic seizures cause muscle stiffness.
Atonic seizures lead to loss of muscle control and can make you fall down suddenly.
Clonic seizures are characterized by repeated, jerky muscle movements of the face, neck, and arms.
Myoclonic seizures cause spontaneous quick twitching of the arms and legs.
Tonic-clonic seizures used to be called “grand mal seizures.” Symptoms include; stiffening of the body, shaking, loss of bladder or bowel control, biting of the tongue and loss of consciousness.
Worldwide, around 60 million people have epilepsy, making it one of the most common neurological diseases globally. Nearly 80% of people with epilepsy live in low- and middle-income countries.
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