Epilepsy could be considered a disease of geniuses. The greatest number of myths and prejudices is associated with it. She was called both God's blessing and the curse of hell. Socrates, Plato, Julius Caesar, Petrarch, Pope Pius IX, Isaac Newton, Blaise Pascal, Fedor Dostoevsky, Peter l, Gustave Flaubert suffered from this disease. That epilepsy attacks subject to so many famous people, sometimes it suggests that she overcomes exceptionally great minds. However, it is not. People of any origin and ability, and even animals, suffer from epilepsy. What kind of mysterious disease is this? how to avoid her and stop an attack of epilepsy?
How is epilepsy manifested?
Each of us imagines what an epileptic attack looks like: a person suddenly falls, convulsions begin to beat him, foam comes out of his mouth. This is the so-called large, or expanded, epileptic seizure. However, there are a huge number of other types of seizures (about 40): a person can blink his eyes or slam his mouth, his arm or leg can begin to twitch, he can just start and for a few seconds lose control over himself. Some attacks pass in full consciousness, in other cases, people do not remember anything about what happened.
An attack of epilepsy. What to do?
Those who see an epileptic seizure, especially a large one, are often shocked themselves, are lost and do not know how to stop an attack of epilepsy.
Here are some simple rules. emergency care:
1. The most important rule is to keep calm! It will allow you to continue to act correctly.
2. Lay the person on their side. It is advisable to place his head on something soft.
3. Do not transfer the patient from place to place. The exception is situations when a person is near sharp objects, water, etc.
4. Make sure that the head is turned sideways, this will prevent the saliva and mucus, which are often released during the attack, from getting into the respiratory throat
5. If vomiting has begun, turn the patient on his side completely.
6. In no case do not try to open the man’s teeth and stick something in his mouth!
7. Do not give medication and drink during an attack. The patient may simply choke or choke.
8. If the attack lasts longer than 5-10 minutes or if short-term attacks follow one after another, call an ambulance. You need to call for help if the patient was injured during the attack.
In principle, this is all that you can help. The attack will pass by itself or it will be stopped by the called ambulance brigade.
Can epilepsy be cured?
Today, up to 70-80% of patients with epilepsy are forever cured of the disease with the help of drugs. Remaining with the help of drugs can significantly alleviate the manifestations of the disease - to reduce the frequency and strength of seizures.
The treatment of epilepsy is a long-term process. It must be held under the supervision of a doctor - an epileptologist or a neurologist. Only a doctor can choose the optimal dosage of a medicine that will give the least side effects.
- At what age can epilepsy begin?
Epilepsy can debut at any age. The most dangerous age is adolescence, when hormonal changes begin in the child's body. Very often, epilepsy occurs at 3 years old, at 7 years old and in older people. However, if there was a head injury, the disease can begin at any time. It is very important for close ones to know how to stop an attack of epilepsy and how to avoid manifestations of the disease.
- What causes epilepsy?
The main cause of seizures is a brain injury and the death of neurons. A focus appears in the brain, from which "irregular" nerve impulses propagate to other parts of the brain, causing certain external manifestations.
The brain can be injured as a result of many unfavorable factors: birth injury, intrauterine infection, head injury, etc. The list also includes the use of alcohol, drugs, and smoking. The latent epileptic focus can manifest itself even as a result of severe fatigue, prolonged lack of sleep. There are forms of epilepsy caused by abnormalities in genetic development, and also resulting from brain tumors.
- Is epilepsy inherited by children?
Actually epilepsy is not inherited. That is, if one of the parents suffers from this disease, then his children with a probability of 94% will not be ill with it. However, a predisposition to seizures is transmitted - then they speak of a low convulsive readiness of the brain. In this case, if a situation arises that caused the death of neurons, most likely epilepsy will manifest itself - the remaining 6%.
- Does epilepsy affect mental development?
No, it does not. The list of great people suffering from this disease, given at the beginning of the article, proves this. Epilepsy is not a mental illness.
Be careful! If you have witnessed an attack of epilepsy, do not stand aside. In your power provide emergency care and stop an epilepsy attack. Now you know how to act. Indifference can cost someone life.
How to prevent an epileptic seizure
Epilepsy attacks occur differently depending on the form of the disease. The most severe course of the disease is accompanied by seizures with loss of consciousness, convulsions, the patient is often injured, after the attack does not remember anything. Another type of epileptic seizures passes without loss of consciousness. The patient may freeze for a while, his gaze stops, a cramp of limbs begins, he can slap his lips. If the patient was standing, then a cramp of limbs can cause him to crouch, then he loses control and falls over on his back. In most cases, patients with epilepsy do not remember themselves at such moments.
The body warns the patient about the onset of an attack, unusual sensations appear, a change in smell, taste, and hallucinations can occur. The attack may not last long - up to 10 seconds, but may last about 10 minutes. Within an hour, and sometimes within two hours, the patient's condition is restored. The harder the attack, the longer the recovery period. People around the patient should remember - when an attack occurs, they must take all measures so that the epileptic is not able to harm himself and does not harm others.
Lack of sleep of a baby or schoolchild can lead to the development of an attack if the child is sick with epilepsy. There are certain sleep standards that must be observed for a sick child:
- the newborn sleeps during the day from 8 to 9 hours, at night from 10 to 12 hours,
- from 3 months in the afternoon, the child sleeps from 6 to 7 hours, at night until 10 hours,
- from six months at least 15 hours a day,
- from 10 months at least 14 hours a day,
- from a year and a half at least 13 hours a day,
- from three to seven years at least 12 hours a day,
- from 14 to 17 years at least 9 hours a day.
An adult with epilepsy should sleep at least 8 hours a day to prevent the development of an attack, and older people at least 7 hours.
To prevent an attack, the patient with epilepsy should regularly take anticonvulsants, keep a calendar of seizures and always carry it with him. Do not allow yourself to change the dose of an antiepileptic drug or skip medication. You can not take alcohol - it affects the quality of sleep, reduces the effect of antiepileptic drugs. Flickering and bright light sources that can cause an attack should be avoided. The patient should regularly visit a medical institution, a neurologist will decide on the effectiveness of the drug, adjust treatment if necessary.
How to prevent epilepsy in children and adults
To prevent epilepsy in a baby, prophylaxis should be started before birth. Do not take alcohol, do not smoke during pregnancy, lactation, eat rationally, follow all the doctor’s recommendations. It should be remembered that some genetic diseases can affect the development of epilepsy in a child. It is impossible to cure, but, knowing about your problem, you will be able to take timely measures, turn to a neurologist.
In young children, intrauterine hypoxia can become the cause of epilepsy - the results of studies during pregnancy indicate this violation. The pregnant woman will have to undergo treatment and be under the supervision of doctors. An attack of epilepsy in a baby can cause an infection of the brain - this is one of the most common causes of the development of epilepsy. When the first symptoms of the disease, high fever, consult a doctor immediately. Timely measures taken will help to avoid the development of epilepsy.
Where is epilepsy treated in Moscow?
The disease in Moscow is being treated at medical centers specializing in the treatment of epilepsy. The clinic of neurology conducts the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy, various neurological diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, dementia, Parkinson's disease. In the neurological department they undergo treatment after a head injury, stroke. The hospital deals with the treatment of epilepsy in children and adults, the diagnosis of the disease is carried out in the diagnostic center of the hospital. You can make an appointment with a doctor by calling the Yusupov hospital.
Epilepsy and its treatment
The main cause of epilepsy (a neurological disease) is a weakening of the functions of neurons in a certain part of the brain (in the epileptic focus). As a result of changes in bioelectric activity in the focus, convulsions begin to shake the body. The following types of epilepsy are:
|Type of disease||Description|
|Intermittent||It occurs in newborns, infants, convulsions pass from one part of the body to another|
|Full-time||A person freezes, loses orientation in space, there are no convulsions. This is childhood epilepsy.|
|Rolandic||It occurs in 3-14 years, manifests itself in nightly short-term convulsions|
|Myoclonic||It is characterized by frequent convulsions, debuts in 10-20 years.|
|Traumatic||It develops after a head injury|
|Alcohol||It occurs in adults with chronic alcoholism|
In 50% of cases, the exact causes of the disease cannot be established. For treatment, there are many schemes that are selected depending on the type, severity of the disease. In one period, therapy is carried out with only one drug, which is taken regularly. Therapy lasts at least 3 years, but during this period the drugs may change (selected according to their effectiveness). First aid for a seizure should be like this:
- lay the person on the floor, sofa, fix the head sideways,
- unfasten clothes, put a napkin between your teeth,
- after the attack, do not wake the person if he fell asleep.
Any non-traditional means are used only after approval by a doctor, in children under 3 years old only conservative therapy is performed!
Conservative treatment is required by most patients, because for many it allows you to stop the attacks completely. Polytherapy (taking a combination of anticonvulsant drugs) is recognized as less effective than treatment with one remedy.
A universal remedy does not exist, therefore, an accurate determination of the form of the disease is very important.
Most often, patients based on carbamazepine are recommended - Finlepsin, Tegretol. Their price is low - about 250-300 rubles for 50-100 tablets. Carbamazepine blocks special sodium channels, as a result, excited neurons stabilize. The substance also reduces the release of certain amino acids, which reduces the seizure threshold and the risk of a new seizure. Additional effects of the drug:
- anxiety reduction
- cessation of depression
- decreased aggressiveness, irritability,
- headache warning.
Also, drugs based on sodium valproate (Depakin, Konvuleks), powerful sedatives with phenobarbital (Luminal) are prescribed against epilepsy. With absences, Ethosuximide is often prescribed, with myoclonic seizures - Topiramat, Felbamate. If the type of disease is not established, you have to select a medicine according to its effectiveness.
Other measures against the disease
Most drugs are quite toxic, and they also have many side effects. Therefore, many patients prefer the use of low doses of anticonvulsants in combination with folk remedies, other methods that are advised by a specialist.
Magnets help some patients - they wear magnetic collars around their necks or apply magnets to their temples, palms.
Not bad proved in an impending attack of acupressure. Oddly enough, you should massage the bone area on the big toe from the side. It must be acted on for a minute, doing massage clockwise. Patients are well helped to maintain health:
- music lessons
- other creative activities.
Under the control of loved ones, therapeutic baths can be done against epilepsy. You need to take a tablespoon of valerian root, pine buds and willow bark, brew a liter of boiling water, leave for an hour. After this infusion is poured into a warm bath, it contains 15 minutes. Procedures can be done daily, before bedtime.
In some cases, surgical treatment can stop epilepsy attacks if a conservative one is ineffective. It is possible that epilepsy is provoked by a tumor, aneurysm, head injury.
Herbal remedies for seizures
Alternative treatment of epilepsy is considered very effective if carried out with the approval of a specialist. Sometimes herbs can completely replace taking pills - in mild cases. Here are some effective recipes:
- Mix celandine, dill, chamomile, St. John's wort, lavender equally. Add the same parts of lemon balm, motherwort, nettle, hop. Liter brew three tablespoons of the mass, leave overnight. Drink a glass four times / day for 90 days.
- Grind 100 g of Japanese Sophora fruit, pour 500 ml of vodka. Insist in the dark for 4 days. Drink a tablespoon in the morning and evening, washed down with water. The course is 2 months.
- In a similar way, you can prepare and take from epilepsy tincture of Arnica flowers.
From attacks, orange leaves, dandelion flowers, rue grass well help - they are brewed in a tablespoon in a glass of water, they are drunk 100-150 ml three times a day.
Other folk remedies
Since there is a shift in the reaction of the blood to the alkaline side with epilepsy, acid juices are recommended. At any time of the day, traditional medicine advises taking juices of citrus, gooseberries, cherries, apples, currants.
If in the morning every day to keep in your mouth a little vegetable oil for a minute, this reduces the risk of attacks.
Non-traditional methods of treatment suggest using aromatherapy, especially if seizures are observed at night. Before going to bed, you need to burn myrrh resin, nettle seeds, mint leaves and thyme. You can also drip lavender oil, lemon balm into the aroma lamp. “Garlic milk” proved to be quite good - you need to boil a clove of garlic in 100 ml of milk for 5 minutes, then strain, drink the drink warm before bedtime.
How does proper nutrition help?
The human diet should be filled with a sufficient amount of fat, but with a reduced amount of protein. This improves brain function and prevents calcium deficiency - it plays an important role in nerve conduction. From protein foods, sour milk, eggs, fish are preferred. Other nutrition tips are:
- eat every 4 hours
- before bedtime, do not eat in 2 hours,
- consume a lot of plant foods
- do not forget about vegetable oils,
- instead of whole milk, use soy, coconut,
- do not cook in aluminum dishes,
- prevent constipation,
- add bran to food.
Fish, meat is eaten in boiled, steam form. It is important to eat more food with folic acid - nuts, herbs. Alcohol, smoked meats, soda, lots of sugar and salt are very harmful for patients - this food can provoke seizures. Also badly affect the nervous system of coffee, strong tea, vinegar, spicy spices. Fasting improves the functioning of the brain - it is practiced especially often with epilepsy that is not amenable to drug therapy. The procedure for fasting is determined only by a doctor.
Epilepsy - a mental illness
Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disease that periodically manifests itself, primarily, loss of consciousness or a short-term loss of self-control. This problem is physical, not mental, it is based on the pathological activity of neurons in the cerebral cortex. Patients are treated and registered not with psychiatrists, but with neuropathologists and neurologists.
All epileptics suffer from dementia
The statement is completely false. Most people with epilepsy show no signs of decreased intelligence or mental difficulties. In the intervals between attacks, they live normally, work actively and achieve considerable professional success. It is enough to note that many great writers, artists, scientists, politicians and military leaders were epileptics.
With some severe brain lesions, manifested by dementia, epileptic seizures are also observed, but in these cases they will be a concomitant condition, and not the cause of mental retardation.
Epilepsy can be infected
Вероятно, причиной заблуждения стал тот факт, что у новорожденных эпилепсия иногда развивается вследствие внутриутробного инфицирования. For example, a sick child may be born to a woman who suffered from rubella or toxoplasmosis during pregnancy.
But the disease itself has nothing to do with infections. It is impossible to become infected.
The main symptoms of an attack are convulsions combined with foam from the mouth.
The name "epilepsy" unites about 20 conditions, only a small part of which manifests itself in this way. In many epileptics, seizures do not look spectacular at all. Most often, patients for a few seconds or minutes simply lose touch with reality. At the same time, others may not notice anything unusual, taking the stillness and absent glance of a person as signs of deep thought. In other patients, the disease leads to convulsions of certain muscle groups without loss of consciousness. Many epileptics note visual, audible or olfactory hallucinations, panic attacks or, conversely, unreasonable mood rises and even feelings of deja vu.
Such seizures also occur during which patients, being in a state of losing touch with reality, perform complex actions that look outwardly meaningful, but do not realize their purpose and consequences.
The approach of a fit is easy to predict.
Epileptics do sometimes sometimes have characteristic sensations by which it is possible to determine the approach of a seizure a few seconds before it begins. Unfortunately, such a hunch is rare and practically does not affect the quality of life, since the patient still will not be able to prevent an attack. That is why certain types of activities (driving a car, working near water bodies, etc.) are contraindicated for people with epilepsy.
Antiepileptic drugs are very dangerous.
Modern drugs against epilepsy are serious drugs that have contraindications and side effects. The choice of medicine should be done by a doctor. Typically, treatment with such drugs begins with a minimum amount at a time, gradually increasing the dose until a therapeutic effect is achieved. Medications take a long time. You can’t interrupt the course without consulting a specialist, this is fraught with activation of the disease and the development of life-threatening conditions.
Epilepsy develops in people who were easily excitable in childhood.
This is a very old misconception, which is sometimes observed even among doctors. Subjected pediatricians sometimes prescribe overly excitable children anticonvulsants.
In fact, the inability to concentrate, mood swings, a tendency to tantrums and other qualities inherent in some restless children have nothing to do with the causes of the development of epilepsy. This does not mean that such a child does not need the help of a neurologist or child psychologist.
All epileptics suffer from a disease from an early age
Epilepsy can occur at any age, but about 70% of cases occur in people who have become ill in early childhood or in old age. In infants, the disease develops as a result of hypoxia transferred during the period of intrauterine development or in the process of being born, as well as due to congenital diseases of the brain. In older people, the cause of epilepsy often becomes strokes and brain tumors.
The main factor provoking an attack is flickering light.
This is not true. The list of factors that can cause an epileptic seizure includes:
- a decrease in blood glucose (for example, due to a long break between meals),
- lack of sleep, fatigue,
- stress, anxiety,
- alcohol intake, hangover,
- use of drugs
- taking certain medications (including antidepressants),
Women with epilepsy cannot get pregnant
The presence of the disease does not affect the possibility of becoming pregnant and having a baby. On the contrary, during the period of gestation, the condition of expectant mothers suffering from epilepsy improves, seizures almost stop. The disease is not inherited. About 95% of pregnancies in female epileptics end in the birth of healthy babies.
Epilepsy is a rare disease
In the world, about 50 million people suffer from epilepsy. In terms of prevalence, this is the third neurological disease after Alzheimer's disease and stroke. Experts say that almost 10% of people have experienced a seizure at least once in their life, but the diagnosis of epilepsy is made only in cases when the seizures are repeated regularly.
Misconceptions about epilepsy are very tenacious. They affect the attitude towards patients who, because of this, may experience serious problems with professional implementation and adaptation in society. It is necessary that people understand that the person suffering from epilepsy, despite the “strange” behavior, is not only not dangerous to others, but also periodically needs their help.
Video from YouTube on the topic of the article:
Education: First Moscow State Medical University named after I.M. Sechenov, specialty "General Medicine".
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