Epilepsy is a nervous disorder which affects the brain. It is a disorder in which clusters of nerve cells function abnormally sending out wrong signals which cause the body to function strangely. These abnormal functions of the body are the common symptoms of epilepsy.
This abnormal and disorderly functioning of the brain’s nerve cells is called a seizure and when a person suffering from epilepsy experiences a seizure, it is quite scary to watch. A seizure is characterized by strange sensations and emotions or strange behavior such as violent muscle spasms and the patient may lose consciousness.
Types of Epilepsy
There are different types of epilepsy which are categorized based on the symptoms of epilepsy or the abnormal behavior that the patient experiences. There are almost twenty common types of epilepsy which are categorized into four basic categories. The first category is idiopathic epilepsies which include types of epilepsies such as Myoclonic epilepsy in infants, Juvenile Myoclonic epilepsy, Childhood absence epilepsy, Juvenile absence epilepsy and Epilepsy with generalized tonic-clonic seizures in childhood.
The second category is symptomatic epilepsies which include the types of epilepsies such as infantile spasms, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Progressive myoclonic epilepsies. The third category is Partial epilepsies in which Frontal lobe epilepsy, Occipital lobe epilepsy, Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy and Parietal lobe epilepsy are some of the common types of epilepsy found and finally the fourth category is unclassified epilepsies which includes common types of epilepsy such as Febrile fits, Epilepsy with continuous spike and waves in slow wave sleep, Landau Kleffner syndrome and Rasmussen’s syndrome. Hence a good understanding of the various causes of epilepsy is needed to understand the different types of epilepsy and take the necessary treatment.
Symptoms of Epilepsy
The symptoms of epilepsy are based on the part of the brain in which the seizure occurs and it is based on these symptoms that the types of epilepsy are classified. The common symptoms of epilepsy include convulsions, muscle spasms, loss of consciousness, strange sensations, strange emotions and strange behavior. Some of the more specific symptoms of epilepsy are anger, aggression, changed hearing, visual disturbances, muscle pains and tremors, mood changes, etc. Since it is such a serious and dangerous nervous condition, it is important to identify the symptoms of epilepsy early and take the essential corrective measures.
Causes of Epilepsy
The causes of epilepsy are very vague and it is very difficult to establish concrete causes of epilepsy in many people. Epilepsy is now no more a condition that affects adults alone. There are several children who suffer from epilepsy. The causes of epilepsy vary for the different types of epilepsy and a good understanding of these causes of epilepsy would help in getting a better idea of the various Types of epilepsy and the treatment required.
The most common causes of epilepsy are head injuries, brain tumors, strokes and other degenerative diseases. In youngsters, the most common causes for epilepsy are severe head injuries and in rare cases it is also due to brain tumors. One of the other causes of epilepsy in children is that some children are born with a deformed brain or nervous disorders. In adults, especially elders above the age of 64, the main causes of epilepsy are strokes and brain tumors and also in some cases, degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Epilepsy has affected several millions of people around the world today and the number is on the rise. The awareness about the causes of epilepsy, symptoms of epilepsy and types of epilepsy will definitely play a major role in the prevention of epilepsy in many people.