It is also known as falling sickness. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects central nervous system in which activity of nerve cell in brain is disturbed. In this disorder seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations and sometimes loss of consciousness is occurred.
A seizure is a disturbance in the normal regulation of brain. It is the disturbance of electrical activity in brain. It occurs when nerve cells or neuron send wrong message to brain. The symptoms of seizures can vary from person to person. The common feature is spreading wave of uncontrolled electrical activity.
THERE ARE TWO MAIN TYPES OF SEIZURES
It generally begins with sudden abnormal electrical activity throughout the entire brain. It includes: tonic clonic convulsions (grand mal) and absence seizures (petit mal or staring seizures).
It begins with abnormal electrical activity in just one part of brain. This activity can spread to other parts as well. It includes: simple partial seizure, complex partial seizure and secondarily generalized seizure.
AYURVEDIC VIEW OF EPILEPSY
In Ayurveda Epilepsy is known as Apasmāra and the epileptic attacks are known as Akshpaka. In Ayurveda, epilepsy is categorizes into four types depending upon which type of Dosha is vitiated.
Such as epilepsy which results due to aggravation of Vata dosha is known as Vataja epilepsy, aggravation of Kapha dosha is known as Kaphaja epilepsy, aggravation of Pitta dosha is known as Pittaja epilepsy and aggravation of all three doshas is known as Sannipataja epilepsy.
SYMPTOMS OF EPILEPSY
Symptoms vary depending upon the type of seizure. In most cases, a person with epilepsy will tend to have same type of seizure each time. So symptoms will be similar from episode to episode. Some common sign and symptoms may include:
- Sudden jerks in arms
- Strange feeling
- Sudden blackout & fainting
- Stiffness in muscles
- Twitching or trembling of muscle
- Psychic symptoms
WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR
If you may have following symptoms occurs then you may seek a medical help:
- Seizure may last for longer duration i.e. more than five minutes
- Breathing or consciousness doesn’t recover after seizure attack stops.
- Immediately second seizure follows
- High fever
- Any injury due to seizure
CAUSES OF EPILEPSY
The clear cause of epilepsy is not known. Typically the common known cause of seizure is some injury to the brain. Some of the main causes of epilepsy include:
- Low oxygen during birth.
- Brain tumors.
- Infections such as meningitis and encephalitis.
- Any type of brain damage
- Genetic conditions those results in brain injury such as tuberculosis.
- Prenatal injury
RISK FACTORS OF EPILEPSY
Certain factors may increase risk of epilepsy:
- Age –Epilepsy is more common in early childhood or after the age of 60.
- Family History– Family history of epilepsy increased the risk of epilepsy.
- Head Injuries– Head injuries are also responsible for some types of seizures.
- Stroke and other brain infections
If seizures are left untreated then it may be dangerous to yourself or others:
- Falling – It may cause head injury or break a bone.
- Car accidents– If seizures occurred during driving then it may leads to car accidents.
- Pregnancy complications.
DIAGNOSIS OR TESTS
To diagnose this condition, doctor will review symptoms and medical history of patient. There are several tests to diagnose the cause of seizures.
- Neurological examination– It helps to review patient’s behavior, motor abilities, mental function and the type of epilepsy.
- Blood tests– It helps to diagnose the signs of infections, genetic conditions or other conditions that may be associated with seizures.
- Electroencephalogram (EEG)-It is the most common test to diagnose epilepsy. In this test, doctors attach electrode to patient’s scalp with paste like substance and these electrodes record electrical activity of brain. It helps to diagnose what type of seizure you have.
- Computerized tomography scan (CT)-It is used to obtain cross-sectional images of brain that helps to reveal abnormalities in brain that cause seizures such as tumor, cysts and bleeding.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-It creates detailed view of brain which is helpful to detect abnormalities in brain that may be responsible for seizures.
- Functional MRI (fMRI)- It helps to measure the change in blood flow that occur in specific part of brain. It is used to detect the exact locations of critical functions such as speech and movement.
- Positron emission tomography (PET)-It include a small amount of low dose radioactive material which is injected into vein that helps to visualize active areas of brain and detect abnormalities.
- Neuropsychological tests-It helps to assess patient’s thinking, memory and speech skills. It helps to find out which area is more affected.
TREATMENT OF EPILEPSY
The main objective of ayurvedic treatment is to strengthen the brain and restore the proper functioning of nervous system. There are some herbs that are used in treatment of epilepsy. These are as following:
These are herbal capsules which is obtained from Bacopa monnieri belongs to family Plantaginceae. It is small annual creeping herb which is found throughout India including Northern Eastern Region. The whole plant is used to make medicines.
- It nourishes brain and helps in bringing coordination between nervous system and daily activity.
- It acts as brain tonic.
- It is also helpful in treatment of epilepsy, insomnia.
- It is helpful in all type of mood disorders. It is also helpful in relieving anxiety, stress and mental fatigue.
Pack Size – Each bottle contains 60 capsules.
Dose – 1-2 Capsules twice daily after meal with plain water.
These are pure natural capsules that are obtained from Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha). It is cultivated in drier region of India. This herb is nontoxic that works on nonspecific basis to normalize physiological function working on HPA axis (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) and neuroendocrine system.
- It possesses natural rejunvating properties to the body.
- It is also used in fatigue, stress and weakness.
Pack Size – 60 capsules in a bottle.
Dose – 1-2 Capsules twice daily, with plain water, after meals.
DIET ANFD LIFESTYLE
There are some guidelines in daily diet and lifestyle which are beneficial in the management of epilepsy. These are as following:
- Patient should take proper rest.
- Should take proper diet.
- Ketogenic diet – It is good for epileptic patient because it is a special diet that contains high fat and low carbohydrate. This may not be good in all patients.
- Should avoid drugs and alcohol.
- Meditation and relaxation techniques should be used regularly to ensure that stress does not disturb the electrical activities in the brain.
- Doing yoga, Pranayama regularly have positive effect on nervous system and helps to cure epilepsy along with treatment.