Epilepsy is a group of disorders characterized by recurrent seizures .Brain normally controls the body movements by sending small electrical signals through nerves to the muscles but when the brain sends out abnormal signals , it results in seizures or convulsions. There are different types of epilepsy and seizures.
Epilepsy drugs are mainly used to control seizures and if medications are not effective, then surgery is the option. Most of epileptic seizures are mainly controlled by anti convulsant drugs. The type of treatment prescribed will depend on several factors like..
– The frequency and severity of the seizures
– Age of the person
– Overall health of an individual,
– Medical history.
Drugs mainly help to decrease the frequency and intensity of the seizures. Majority of children with medication-controlled epilepsy can eventually stop medications and live a seizure-free life. Many adults also discontinue their medication after two or more years without seizures.
All epileptic medications have some side effects. Some of the effects include..
1) weight gain
3) loss of coordination
5) loss of bone density
6) speech problems
7) skin rashes
Some of rare side effects include–
2) Inflammation of some organs like liver , pancreas etc
3) Severe rash
4) Suicidal thoughts etc.
Surgery is most commonly done when tests show that seizures originate in a small, well-defined area of brain that doesn’t interfere vital functions like speech, language or hearing. Most of the patients experience great reduction in severity and frequency of seizure after surgery. Some of the surgical methods are as follows..
1) Multiple sub pial transaction for epilepsy: If the epileptic seizures is in an area of the brain that is critical to speech or movement, an approach called multiple subpial transection is used. Instead of removing brain tissue, surgeons interrupt nerve fibers on the surface of the brain that carry the impulses which is responsible for epileptic symptoms.
2) Resective surgery for epilepsy: This type of brain surgery removes the specific area of the brain that is responsible for seizures.A resective procedure called temporal lobectomy, in which there is removal of portion of the temporal lobe (the most common source of epileptic seizures). This is the most common surgery performed for epilepsy.
3) Vagal nerve stimulation for epilepsy (VNS):
It is a treatment in which there is placement of a small pacemaker under the skin near the vagal nerve in the side of the neck. This device regulates electrical activity in the brain, and in some patients , it reduces the frequency and severity of the seizures..