Asian Hospital has a multidisciplinary team of experts that utilizes state-of-the-art equipment to diagnose and manage seizure disorders.
Nerve cells, or neurons, normally transmit electrochemical impulses that act on other neurons, glands, and muscles to produce human thoughts, feelings, and actions. However neurons in the cerebral cortex of the brain can sometimes become “overexcited” and send out abnormal signals, causing strange sensations, emotions, and behavior, or sometimes convulsions, muscle spasms, and loss of consciousness. This is called a seizure.
Having several seizures (recurrent seizures) is considered epilepsy. Seizures are not considered epilepsy if they occur only once or are correctable. While epilepsy can develop at any age, it is most common in adulthood. Many children with epilepsy may outgrow the condition. However, even mild seizures that happen more than once should be treated because these could cause harm if the seizure occurs while a person is driving, walking, or swimming.
Types of seizures
Seizures may either be partial or generalized. Partial seizures are further classified into simple and complex. Symptoms of simple partial seizures include involuntary twitching of the muscles or arms and legs; changes in vision; vertigo; and experiencing unusual tastes or smells. Symptoms of complex partial seizures are often the same but may include loss of consciousness and repetitive behavior or staring.
Symptoms of generalized seizures include staring, brief loss of consciousness, involuntary jerking or twitching of the limbs, and loss of bladder control.
In about half of cases, the cause of seizures is unknown. Known causes include:
Diagnosis and treatment
A person who suffers a seizure should consult a doctor immediately. The doctor will take your medical history and ask about anything that may have caused your seizure (e.g. head injury) as well as risk factors (e.g. family or personal history of seizures).
To facilitate an accurate diagnosis, your doctor may order blood tests and an electroencephalogram (EEG), which records the electrical activity in your brain. Your doctor may also recommend imaging procedures such as a computerized tomography (CT) scan, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, and a positron emission tomography (PET) scan.
Once the doctor makes a definitive diagnosis, he or she will initiate therapy that has the following treatment goals: (1) stop the seizures; (2) minimize drug side effects; (3) stop seizure recurrence; and (4) help you readjust to your home life and work environment after a seizure. There are a number of drugs available for the treatment of seizures, such as anticonvulsants and sedatives. Your doctor may initially try a single medication or combinations in order to determine what works best for you.
The Department of Neurosciences of the Asian Hospital and Medical Center has a multidisciplinary team of highly skilled neurosurgeons, neurologists, and radiologists that utilizes state-of-the-art equipment to diagnose and manage seizure disorders.
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