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What Causes Epilepsy?

Sometimes physicians find a specific neurological defect that is the cause of an epileptic’s disorder, but usually the reasons are unknown. Risk factors for developing epilepsy include a strong family history of the condition, severe head injury, infections of the central nervous system, and stroke. Medical Regimens for Epilepsy Anticonvulsant drugs provide the main medical treatment for epilepsy. These medications must be taken regularly to maintain the most effective serum concentrations throughout the day and can have undesirable side effects, such as facial hair in women, ...

Definition of Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a condition marked by recurrent, sudden seizures that result from electrical disturbances of the cerebral cortex. Although the seizures epileptics experience can vary greatly, the two most common types are the: 1. Grand mal (or “tonic-clonic”) attack, which is the most severe form and entails two phases. It begins with a very brief tonic” phase, in which the person loses consciousness and body is rigid. It then progresses to a longer “clonic” phase that lasts 2 or 3 minutes and includes muscle spasms and twitching. The body may then relax until the person ...

Psychosocial Factors in Epilepsy

Because individuals who are having epileptic episodes lose control of their behavior and “act strange”, their condition stigmatizes them among people who do not understand it. Long ago, many people believed that individuals with this condition were possessed by the devil. Although few people in advanced societies today shun victims of epilepsy, witnessing an attack may still arouse feelings of fear and aversion. Aside from the reactions their attacks produce in people, what other problems do epileptics face as a result of their illness? Having strong seizures, especially ...

Physical Rehabilitation Therapy

The process of physical rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injuries is geared toward helping them (1) regain as much physical function as the neurological damage will allow and (2) become as independent in their functioning as possible. This process focuses initially on training the patients to develop bladder and bowel control and on assisting them in moving paralyzed limbs to maintain their range of motion. Hygienic bladder care is extremely important because a common cause of death in these patients after the spinal shock period is kidney failure from repeated infections. The ...

What to Do for a Seizure

People react negatively to seeing a grand mal attack for many reasons, one of which may be that they don’t know what to do to help. Actually, there is little one can do other than to remain calm and try to protect the epileptic from injury as he or she falls or flails about during the tonic or clonic phases. If you witness a seizure, the following six actions are recommended: 1. Prevent injury from falls or flailing. Break the fall if possible and provide a cushion, such as a coat, between the person’s head and the ground. 2. Do not put anything in the person’s mouth. ...

What Is Asthma?

Imagine being at home reading one evening and noticing that a slight whistling, wheezing sound starts to accompany each breath you take. Soon the sound becomes louder and your breathing becomes labored. You try opening your mouth to breathe, but very little air goes in or out. When your chest begins to contract from the effort and your heart pounds rapidly you are quite frightened and worry. “Will my next gasp for air be my last?” This is what a major asthma attack is like. Victims of extreme attacks may begin to turn blue and looks as if they are about to die and some do ...