Epilepsy by: clarissa Stewart/Grumman/3 Anatomy

Imagine being in a party, you're having fun, dancing with all your friends. Next thing you know strobe lights begin to blare all around you. You stop. Your brain goes into over-drive. You collapse onto the ground, unable to control yourself and begin to lose all control and almost consciousness. This is what it is like for people with Epilepsy.

Epilepsy: Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes people to have recurring seizures. The seizures happen when clusters of nerve cells, or neurons, in the brain send out the wrong signals.

There are two different types of seizures (and two different degrees of seizures). Generalized seizures attack the ENTIRE brain. Focal, or partial seizures, affect just a single area of the brain. A mild seizure may be hard to tell. It can last a couple seconds which you lack awareness (i.e you don't know you're having a seizure). Stronger seizures can cause spasms and uncontrollable muscle twitches, and can last a couple seconds to several minutes. During a stronger seizure, some people become confused or lose consciousness. Afterward, you may have no recollection of it ever happening.

"Epilepsy is a fairly common neurological disorder that affects 65 million people around the world. In the United States, it affects about 3 million people." (source: http://www.healthline.com/health/epilepsy)

Anyone could develop Epilepsy, but it’s common in children (newborn-preteen) and older adults (50+). It is shown that epilepsy is developed slightly more in males than in females. There is no real cure for epilepsy however, the disorder can be detained/manageable with medications, remedies, and strategies.

In a simple seizure a person can experience, alterations to the senses, dizziness, tingling and twitching of the limbs. In a complex seizure a person could also experience, staring blankly, unresponsiveness, performing repetitive movements.

People with Epilepsy can be triggered by many different things that we experience sometimes daily and naturally.

•illness or fever (less common)

•stress (common)

•bright lights, flashing lights, or patterns (most common)

•caffeine, alcohol, medicines, or drugs

•skipping meals, overeating, specific food ingredients, or lack of sleep (common)

There have been reports as many as 500 genes that are linked to epilepsy. "Genetics [could] also provide you with a natural “seizure threshold.” If you inherit a low seizure threshold, you’re more vulnerable to seizure triggers. A higher threshold means you’re less likely to have seizures." (source: http://www.healthline.com/health/epilepsy

Epilepsy has been reported to run in family genes. However, the risk of actually inheriting the condition is shockingly low. Most parents with Epilepsy do not birth offspring with the epilepsy gene. In retrospect, the risk of developing Epilepsy by age 20 is about 1 percent, or 1 in every 100 people. If you have a parent with Epilepsy due to a genetic cause, your risk rises to somewhere between 2 to 5 percent. Which is still fairly low.


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