Types of epilepsy: Hundreds of billions of nerve cells, commonly known as neurons, make up your brain. Electrical activity is used by these neurons to interact and deliver signals. A seizure can be associated with an abnormal change in this electrical activity. Epilepsy is a disorder in which seizures occur often.

Epilepsy was once thought to be a type of illness. It was described as an “epilepsy disorder” at times. Epilepsy, on the other hand, is now classified as an illness instead of a disorder.

Symptoms

  • Temporary perplexity
  • A bout of staring
  • Muscle spasms
  • Jerking motions of the arms and legs that are impulsive
  • Consciousness or cognitive loss
  • Fear, worry, or a sense of deja vu are all psychological symptoms.

The severity of the symptoms varies based on the type of seizure. An individual with epilepsy will, in most situations, experience the same sort of seizure every time, therefore the symptoms will be consistent from one episode to another.

Causes

Epilepsy is spontaneous in 6 out of 10 instances, which means the cause is undetermined. Epilepsy can also be linked to a problem with the structure or function of the human brain. Traumatic brain injuries, strokes, other vascular issues, nervous system illnesses (meningitis or encephalitis), congenital deformities, brain tumors, and metabolic anomalies can all cause these abnormalities.

Types of Epilepsy

Focal epilepsy

  • Focal seizures without loss of consciousness – These seizures occur in clusters but do not result in a loss of consciousness. These seizures, also known as simple partial seizures, do not result in a loss of consciousness. They have the ability to affect emotions as well as the appearance, smell, touch, taste, and sound of objects. Some actually feel a sense of deja vu. In addition to uncontrollable shaking of one body part, including an arm or leg, this type of seizure can cause spontaneous sensory signs such as tingling, nausea, and flashing lights.
  • Focal seizures accompanied by a loss of awareness – These seizures, formerly known as complex partial seizures, include a shift or loss of consciousness or cognition. This form of seizure can make you feel as if you’re in a fantasy. You may gaze into space and not react normally to your surroundings or do repeated activities such as hand scratching, chewing, swallowing, or walking in circles during a focal seizure with decreased consciousness.

Generalized epilepsy

Atonic nature – Muscle function is lost during atonic seizures, commonly known as drop seizures. Because this usually affects the legs. You may find yourself collapsing or falling down.

Clonic seizures – These are marked by involuntary muscle movements that are recurrent or rhythmic. The neck, face, and arms are commonly affected by these convulsions.

Myoclonic seizures – Myoclonic seizures are marked by quick, short jerks or spasms of the upper torso, arms, and legs.

Absence seizures – Children are more likely to have absence seizures, also known as petit mal seizures. These may last 10–15 seconds and are marked by looking into space with or without modest physical movements such as eye movements or mouth smacking. These seizures can happen in bunches, up to 100 times each day, and cause a momentary loss of consciousness.

Tonic seizures – Tonic seizures are defined by rigid muscles and might impair consciousness. The muscles in your back, arms, and legs are frequently affected, and you may tumble to the ground.

Tonic-clonic seizures – The most severe kind of epileptic seizure is tonic-clonic seizures, often referred to as grand mal seizures. They can lead to a loss of consciousness as well as stiffness, twitching, and trembling of the body. They can make you lose control of your urine or bite your tongue.

Diagnosis

Physical examination – In addition to your seizures, a doctor will examine you to see if you have any physical issues. They’ll also put your cognitive knowledge to the test.

Medical background – Because epilepsy is frequently inherited, your doctor will want to know more about your family’s health records.

Blood test – Your doctor will look for signs that are linked to seizures. Hypoglycemia or inflammatory indicators are two examples.

Neuropsychological exam – Your intellect, speaking, and memory will be tested by a specialist. This allows them to figure out where the seizures are occurring in your brain and if there are any additional issues.

Electroencephalogram – An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test that examines the electrical activities of the brain and can be used to determine where the seizure is commencing and if it is a focal or widespread seizure.

Imaging tests – Your doctor can use imaging studies to look for tumors or structural abnormalities that could be causing your seizures. A computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are two such scans.

Treatment

Antiepileptic medications – Antiepileptic medicines (AEDs) are medications that help to lower the occurrence and intensity of seizures. The most effective method will be determined by the type of seizure.

Surgery – Epilepsy surgery entails removing a portion of the brain where seizures occur, and it can help manage some types of epilepsy.

 High-fat and low carb diet – For certain forms of seizures, if AEDs don’t help or surgery isn’t an option, your doctor may recommend a high-fat, low-carb diet. A ketogenic diet or a modified Atkins diet are two examples.

Vagus nerve stimulation – The vagus nerve, which regulates some of your activity in the brain, is stimulated with a small electrical device implanted beneath the skin. By activating the nerve, the device aids in the management of certain seizures.

Bottom line

Types of Epilepsy: Whatever may be the type of seizure is a chronic condition that can have a wide range of consequences. Seizure frequency and the risk of significant consequences can both be reduced with early treatment with anti-epileptic medicines. Hence, before a seizure becomes more intense, consult your doctor.