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    Epilepsy Health Center

    Medical Reference Related to Epilepsy

    1. Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy - Topic Overview

      Generalized tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizures are the easiest seizures to recognize. They happen most often in people with generalized epilepsy of unknown cause.A generalized tonic-clonic seizure begins with a sudden loss of consciousness. During the first 15 to 30 seconds of the seizure, the entire body stiffens as the muscles contract. The back and neck are arched. Sometimes the person may cry out as the vocal cords contract and air is released from the lungs. The person may turn blue because he or she isn't breathing. This is the tonic phase of the seizure.During the next 30 to 45 seconds, the muscles jerk (convulse) in a rhythmic pattern. This is the clonic phase of the seizure. While the muscles are jerking, the person may bite his or her tongue or lose bladder or bowel control.An entire seizure lasts 1 to 2 minutes. After the seizure, the person will be unresponsive at first but will gradually wake up in 10 to 30 minutes. The person may be sleepy, confused, or dazed. The person

    2. Epilepsy - Topic Overview

      Medicine therapy for epilepsy can fail for several reasons: You do not follow the treatment plan. You have to follow your therapy routine exactly as your doctor orders,to have the best chance of keeping seizures under control. Missing a dose here or there or taking doses too close together can upset the levels of the drug in your body and lead to seizures,severe side effects,and other health ...

    3. Questions About Medicines for Epilepsy - Home Treatment

      Controlling seizures caused by epilepsy requires a daily commitment to following your treatment plan. If you are using antiepileptic medication, you must take your medication exactly as prescribed. Not following the treatment plan is one of the main reaso

    4. Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy - Topic Overview

      Imaging tests, such as MRI or CT scan, are often done after a first seizure. And they are recommended in other situations. An MRI or CT scan may be done immediately if you had a seizure along with confusion or new motor or sensory problems that did not improve soon after the seizure ended. Ongoing headache or fever, AIDS, recent head trauma, cancer, or anticoagulant therapy also increases the likelihood that the seizure was related to a serious brain problem. The nature of the seizure and your age can also help determine whether an imaging test is needed.Imaging tests may be used before epilepsy surgery to find the exact location of a problem in the brain. Because scans are able to detect brain lesions, they can also be helpful in deciding whether it is safe to stop treatment with medicine. The presence of lesions increases your risk of having seizures if you stop taking medicine.

    5. Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy - Topic Overview

      Complex partial seizures occur in children and adults with certain forms of epilepsy. They are the most common type of seizure in adults.An aura may occur at the beginning of a seizure. It may consist of a strange smell, taste, sound, or visual disturbance, an unexplained feeling of fear or anxiety, or a sense that everything seems strangely familiar, like it has all happened before (déjà vu), or strangely unfamiliar (jamais vu).The seizure changes the person's level of consciousness. The person may appear awake but cannot respond to anything or anyone around him or her. The person usually stares into space.The seizure may include involuntary movements called automatisms, such as lip-smacking, chewing, hand wringing, picking, and swallowing.The seizure lasts 30 seconds to 2 minutes.Most people who have complex partial seizures do not remember having them. After a seizure, the person will be confused or disoriented and may have a hard time speaking and swallowing for several

    6. Questions About Medicines for Epilepsy - Surgery

      Surgery can greatly improve the lives of some people with epilepsy. While medication is the most common approach to treating epilepsy, it does not always work.

    7. Questions About Medicines for Epilepsy - What Increases Your Risk

      The risk of developing epilepsy increases if you have family history of epilepsy or a head injury with loss of consciousness or amnesia for more than 24 hours.

    8. Questions About Medicines for Epilepsy - Medications

      Medications to prevent epileptic seizures are called antiepileptics. The goal is to find an effective antiepileptic medication that causes the fewest side effects. Antiepileptic medications prevent seizures in 60% to 70% of people who take them. Although

    9. Questions About Medicines for Epilepsy - Topic Overview

      If you have seizures that alter your awareness, consciousness, or muscle control, you may not have the legal right to drive.Laws vary from state to state, but in many cases you have to be seizure-free for at least 6 months to 1 year before you can get a driver's license.The laws of the state you live in, not your doctor, decide whether or not you have the right to drive. You can find out about the law in your state by visiting the Epilepsy Foundation website at www.epilepsyfoundation.org/resources/drivingandtravel.cfmBefore getting a license, you may have to show proof from your doctor that you are receiving treatment and that the treatment has brought your seizures under control. (Remember, too, that some drugs used to control epilepsy may make you drowsy. If you have just started a new drug, don't drive until you know how the drug will affect you.)In general, the risk of having a seizure-related traffic accident is greatly reduced in people who have been seizure-free for 1 year.

    10. Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy - Topic Overview

      Epilepsy that causes generalized seizures is more common in children than in adults. Unlike partial seizures, which begin in a specific, often damaged area in the brain, generalized seizures cannot be traced to a specific location or focus. The abnormal electrical activity that causes seizures begins over the entire surface of the brain. And these seizures tend to affect the entire body.Epilepsy that causes generalized seizures may have no known cause (idiopathic), or it may result from another condition (symptomatic). Drug therapy is the usual treatment approach. But surgery may be helpful in some cases.

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