Everyone has probably seen instances of seizures on TV and in movies, usually involving severe convulsions and loss of control. But much like TV and movies, the reality is a bit different than what you might’ve expected. This week let’s explore the different facts about seizures and tackle some of the rumors around seizures in general
What is a Seizure?
A seizure is an uncontrolled firing of the brain cells, also known as neurons, collectively activating all at once without any meaning or purpose. What this means is that wherever in the brain those neutrons fire, that part of the brain activates, causing things such as the familiar body convulsions seen on media to occur. However, seizures can be a multitude of things ranging from loss of consciousness to becoming confused and forgetful.
What is Epilepsy
Epilepsy is related to seizures in that the disease is characteristic of an individual having at least two seizures where the cause is not from a reversible medical condition. This means that epilepsy is essentially a disorder where a person has ongoing, unpredictable seizures. Epilepsy can be caused by a known disorder or disease such as head trauma or genetic factors.
What Causes a Seizure to Happen
Seizures can be triggered by an event or action for some people who have Reflex Epilepsy, which means that their epilepsy is a reflex of a particular occurrence. The most commonly known trigger is bright or flashing, strobing lights. However, while these are prevalent, there are a plethora of other triggers such as medicine, stress, becoming ill, alcohol and substance use, and sleep deprivation to name a few. It’s important to take note that not everyone who suffers from epilepsy has the same trigger or that they even have reflex epilepsy at all. Epilepsy is a broad range with a lot of factors and it’s important to be mindful of these things when understanding epilepsy in general.
There are a variety of treatments available for epilepsy. The most common type of treatment is prescription medication, however, there are other treatments available such as surgery, special therapy devices for the brain, dietary therapy, etc. It’s important to consult a medical professional to find out what treatment is best for you as not every treatment will work.
Epilepsy is a very difficult disease to tackle because of its elusive, neurological nature as doctors and researchers are working hard to find a cure. If you are experiencing epileptic seizures or are simply curious to learn more, please visit https://www.epilepsy.com/learn/triggers-seizures for more information.
Forbes Aggabao -Alexander’s Hope Intern