Centre of Excellence for Neurosciences at Vimhans Nayati Super Speciality Hospital is committed to offering expert care to patients suffering from Epilepsy. A neurological disorder marked by episodes of seizure or unusual behaviour, Epilepsy is a problem that affects people irrespective of their age or gender. The estimated prevalence of Epilepsy in India is about 3.0 to 11. 9 per 1000 population. It is pertinent to note that the mere fact that someone is experiencing seizures does not mean that the person is epileptic and this can only be determined by proper evaluation and screening.
The seizures triggered by epilepsy are broadly classified into 2 types – Focal seizures and generalized seizures.
Focal seizures originate from a specific part of the brain and further characterized as:
- Focal seizures without loss of consciousness – Earlier known as simple partial seizures, these do not cause unconsciousness. There might be involuntary jerking of the body accompanied by slight dizziness and tingling sensation.
- Focal seizures with impaired awareness- Earlier known as complex partial seizures, these cause unconsciousness and staring spells often accompanied by repetitive movements like chewing, swallowing, walking in circles, etc.
- Generalized seizures on the other hand involve all the areas of the brain and are further classified into the following 6 types:
- Absence seizures – These commonly affect children and are marked by staring spells, eye blinking, or lip-smacking
- Tonic seizures – These are marked by the stiffening of the muscles in the back and limbs that make it difficult to maintain balance
- Atonic seizures –Also known as drop seizures, these are marked by complete or partial loss of muscle tone.
- Clonic seizures – These involve repetitive movements or jerks of the face, neck, or limbs
- Myoclonic seizures – These involve sudden jerks of the upper and lower limbs
- Tonic-clonic seizures – These are marked by the abrupt loss of consciousness accompanied by stiffening and shaking of the body, bladder incontinence, and biting of the tongue.
Indications of Epilepsy
Since epilepsy is triggered by abnormal brain activity, it is likely to affect the various processes that the brain coordinates. A person suffering from epilepsy is likely to suffer from brief episodes of seizures. Other symptoms indicating epilepsy include:
- Frequent episodes of confusion and chaos
- Staring spell
- Involuntary movement of the upper and lower limbs
- Unconsciousness or loss of awareness
- Psychic symptoms like fear and anxiety.
What causes Epilepsy?
Although the cause of epilepsy cannot be determined in about half of the cases, whereas the other half may be experiencing it due to any of the following reasons:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Scarring caused a brain injury
- Very high fever
- Underlying vascular disease
- Insufficient oxygen supply to the brain
- Tumours or cysts in the brain
- Already existing medical conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s
- Drug abuse
- Congenital brain malformation
- Infectious diseases that affect the brain
- Genetic disorders
Factors that may increase your vulnerability to Epilepsy
Certain factors that increase the risks of epilepsy include:
- Age, as epilepsy is more common in children as compared to adults
- Family history of epilepsy
- Traumatic head injuries sustained in an accident
- Underlying vascular diseases
- Chronic brain infections
- Childhood seizures
Advanced diagnostic procedures offered at Vimhans Nayati Hospital
State of the art facilities offered at Vimhans Nayati for the Diagnosis and evaluation of Epilepsy include:
- Neurological exam for assessing behavioural changes, motor abilities, and psychological health of the patients
- Blood assessments for detecting infections and genetic abnormalities
- Electroencephalogram (EEG) for recording the seizures using special electrodes for assessing your brain’s electrical activity.
- Computerised tomography (CT) scan to detect any abnormalities in the brain that might be responsible for the seizures
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI scan that uses magnetic radiations for detecting abnormalities and lesions in the brain
- Functional MRI or FMRI to detect any irregularities in the blood flow
- Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan to visualized specific areas of the brain
Treatments offered by Vimhans Nayati
At Vimhans Super Speciality Hospital, we offer a wide range of treatment options for the effective management of epilepsy. These include:
- Medication – Medication can help to control seizures in a majority of cases by decreasing their frequency and intensity. In some cases, it may even help the person to have a completely seizure-free life. These medicines are available on prescription and should only be taken under proper medical guidance. The dosage varies from person to person and is determined keeping in mind various factors like the age of the patient, frequency of the seizures, overall health assessment, etc.
- Surgery – Surgery is usually the last resort when other treatments fail to give the desired results. It involves the removal of the portion of the brain that is responsible for the seizures. However, surgery is usually recommended if the affected area is small and well-defined and is not involved in vital functions like speech, vision, motor function, hearing, etc.
- Deep Brain Stimulation – It involves the surgical implantation of special electrodes in specific areas of the brain which is connected to a pulse generator implanted inside the patient’s chest to generate and send electrical pulses to the brain for controlling the seizures.