Causes of Epilepsy
Types of Epilepsy
What is Epilepsy?
It is not a mental
illness but a long-term condition in which
seizures (fits) recur, usually spontaneously, when unprovoked by any cause that
can be detected immediately.
Seizure is an electrical problem in the brain which arises from a group of cells
known as neurons. Under normal circumstances, transfer of electric signals is the normal way of communication between
these cells. An abnormal excessive discharge of electrical signals can result in a seizure
location of the cells involved
will determine the type of seizure occurred. Seizure on its own is not epilepsy. It takes at
least 2 or more recurring seizures to be diagnosed as epilepsy.
Seizure event involves emotional changes, unusual behaviors, limbs movement, abnormal sensation and may includes disturbance in consciousness. There are different types of epilepsy each would have different signs and symptoms.
Hence, seizures may cause serious injury if they occur while a person is driving a vehicle or operating dangerous equipment and thus have a significant impact on quality of life. Epilepsy which is recurrent seizures may even limit participation in school, employment and social activities.
What are its Causes?
60 % of all patients are without an identifiable cause or have no known cause. Such condition is called unclassified or idiopathic.
Genetic disorders-inherited instability in the functioning of the brain cells normally seen in absence seizures and tonic-clonic seizures
Head injury -
trauma, fall, hit or events that cause injury to
the brain tissues
Infection of the brain –
meningitis (infection of the brain), TB
Drug abuse- e.g. during drug overdosed, sudden withdrawal of
certain sleeping pills after a long period of taking
Diseases that alter the balance of blood or its chemical structure or those that damage the nerve cells in the brain
Interruption of blood flow to the brain caused by stroke, tumor, or certain cardiovascular problems
Seizures in neonates, infants, and toddlers most frequently result from brain injury at time of birth, errors in development of baby's brain in womb, and some physiological disorders. Central nervous system infection, epilepsies in newborns, and disorders involving degeneration of the nerves are more likely to present with seizures beginning in later childhood. These causes stand in stark contrast to the adult population, where brain injury due to strong blow, clotting of blood (strokes) in the brain, and cancers represent the most frequent causes of seizures.
Lack of Sleep
Low Sugar level
Illness, Fever or Allergies
Emotions such as anger, fear and worry
Hormonal activity ( particularly in women)
Starting a new medication or stopping an existing one