epilepsy It causes recurrent seizures and in most cases no signs of epilepsy are recognized before the first seizure occurs.
Additionally, some types of seizures are somewhat subtle and are not always recognized as seizures. Some people refuse to seek medical attention.
This article describes the early signs of epilepsy in babies, children, and adults. It also explains the signs of seizures, causes of epilepsy, and what to do during an attack.
early signs of epilepsy
Some people have epilepsy as part of another neurological condition, such as developmental disorders or dementia. These conditions cause problems with learning, attention, memory, vision, or movement.
In adults, children and babies, seizures are obvious and may include tremors or stiffness on one or both sides of the body. However, in some cases it can be subtle and can cause changes such as lack of attention, staring into space, eye fluttering, blinking, or lack of response.
If the seizures are subtle, people may not realize they have epilepsy until they have a seizure that is accompanied by major changes in consciousness and body movements. Subtle events can begin to have serious consequences or occur frequently.
Adults who develop epilepsy may begin having seizures as a result of brain damage from a head injury, brain tumor, or stroke. Underlying conditions can cause neurological symptoms in these situations.
These problems may include weakness or difficulty controlling one side of the body, coordination problems, personality changes, memory problems, or thinking problems.
Children may develop epilepsy because of a neurodevelopmental condition they were born with. Children with developmental disabilities may also have problems such as slow walking, learning difficulties, vision problems, attention problems, and behavioral problems.
Babies may have seizures due to severe brain damage that occurs during development that may be related to their genetic condition. Associated growth problems may be detected even before the baby is born.
Some babies with epilepsy from birth have problems with muscle tone and muscle control, which can lead to muscle stiffness or very loose muscles, a neurological syndrome that includes epilepsy. Additionally, babies with epilepsy may have abnormal sleep patterns.
Some people may have symptoms before or early in an attack, and if the symptoms are recognizable, they may be considered warning signs.this is Prodromeand some people aura As a seizure warning.
Prodromal symptoms are the feelings people have before they have a seizure. This may include unusual sensations or emotions, or extreme fatigue. People with epilepsy often begin to recognize certain recurrent prodromal symptoms. However, people who have a prodromal symptom before an attack do not always experience the prodromal symptom before the attack.
There may be an aura at the beginning of a seizure. Neurologists consider aura to be focal seizures. This means a seizure that only involves her one area of the brain. Aura symptoms may include unusual sensations or feelings, or small movements of body parts. These typically last for a few seconds at a time.
Auras can develop into more widespread seizures, involving larger areas or both sides of the brain, and may involve involuntary movements of the body.
Causes of epilepsy
Epilepsy is a condition in which a person has, or is predisposed to, recurrent seizures. This condition occurs due to abnormal and uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain.
Epilepsy has many causes, and they all involve some kind of change in the structure of the brain that makes it more susceptible to discharges that cause seizures.
Risk factors include:
- Hereditary epilepsy syndromes (may occur without heritability or inherited pattern)
- Hypoxia during fetal development or another severe stress to the fetus
- Brain injury due to head trauma
- brain damage from stroke
- Toxins such as alcohol that cause metabolic damage to the brain
- health problems such as heart disease and cancer
- mental state
- Alzheimer’s disease (progressive dementia)
Attacks may be idiopathic, meaning they have no identifiable cause or risk factors.
How to deal with seizures
If you witness someone having a seizure, the most important thing is to keep them safe. Do not move it or put anything in its mouth. But if possible, keep it away from sharp objects, water you could drown in, or where you could fall.
When to Call Emergency Services During a Seizure
Seek emergency help in the following situations:
- First seizure (may be first seizure, call even if you don’t know the person or medical history)
- Seizures that last longer than 30 seconds
- Seizure clusters, which are seizures that repeat very quickly back-to-back
- A person is pregnant and having a seizure
- Injuries during or after a seizure
- A person does not regain consciousness immediately after a seizure
when to seek care
People who have a possible seizure episode should seek immediate medical attention.
- Space out (the person appears to be awake but does not respond to taps on the shoulder or verbal cues)
- There are episodes where I can’t remember what happened
- Unexplained injuries or falls
- Involuntary shaking or stiffness of a part of the body
- decreased level of consciousness
- personality change
- Weakness or numbness of a part of the body
- change of vision
Symptoms may indicate a seizure or another neurological problem that requires evaluation.
Some people have symptoms before they are diagnosed with epilepsy. If the seizure is subtle, symptoms may occur. In addition, other conditions that may precede epilepsy include childhood movement or learning disabilities. Adults may have problems related to a stroke or head injury they had before epilepsy.
Many people with epilepsy also experience preictal symptoms called prodromal symptoms, and some people have auras, short focal seizures before more prominent seizures occur.
A word from Verywell
Unusual symptoms in body movements or level of consciousness may indicate a neurological problem.
Most people do not experience any signs or symptoms of epilepsy before their first seizure, but it is very important to see a doctor if you have any symptoms. lead to improved outcomes.
How is epilepsy diagnosed?
Epilepsy is a clinical diagnosis based on medical history. Diagnostic tests may help determine if someone is having a seizure. Tests may include brain imaging and an electroencephalogram (EEG). However, test results may be normal even if people have epilepsy.
What are the sequelae of seizures?
Most people feel very tired and dazed after a seizure and often cannot remember the event. Many people feel confused and disoriented after having a seizure.
Some people develop weakness in certain parts of the body after an attack. Weakness, in focal seizures, corresponds to the area of the brain where the seizure began. These postictal symptoms can last from minutes to days.
Can epilepsy develop suddenly?
Yes, you can suddenly develop epilepsy. It can be caused by known causes, such as stroke or head injury, or it can be idiopathic with unknown causes.