In the human brain, the interaction of ca. 20 billion nerve cells our thinking, moving, feeling and perception. All of these brain functions can be disrupted individually or in combination during an epileptic seizure. From the outside often only a special movement is observed. In individual cases, only the person affected can specify the disturbance of a sensory perception or of consciousness.
However, epilepsy can be treated well and in many cases cured.
Our neurologists at the Schon Klinik specialize in the therapy of epilepsies. With effective methods, we help you achieve a better quality of life.
Epilepsy – what is that actually??
Epilepsy is a chronic disease that originates in the brain and can occur at any age, but especially in childhood. A large part of childhood epilepsies stop by themselves with puberty.
In all epilepsies, epileptic seizures occur from time to time without any apparent cause. These are caused by sudden, momentary dysfunctions of the brain. 5% of all people experience an epileptic seizure once in their life. However, in most cases they do not have epilepsy, but a so-called occasional seizure.
As a rule, epileptic seizures last a few seconds or a few minutes and stop on their own without treatment. Rarely does a seizure last longer than 20 minutes ("seizure status").
One speaks of epilepsy only when at least two epileptic seizures have occurred that were not triggered by an immediately preceding recognizable cause.
There are two groups of seizures:
- Focal seizures
They affect only a part of the brain, consciousness is preserved
- Generalized seizures
They embrace both hemispheres of the brain simultaneously, consciousness suspends
The so-called secondary-generalized seizure starts in one brain region and spreads to the entire brain. In such a case, the affected person can often remember the beginning of his or her seizure. For the correct therapy decision it is important to know the seizure sequence exactly.
Causes: How epilepsy develops?
Any brain can react with a seizure when it is intensely irritated, for example, by high fever, overtiredness or a brain injury. Poisoning, inflammation or alcohol can also trigger a seizure.
In the case of epilepsy, i.e. repeated seizures without an identifiable trigger, the causes may be damage to or inflammation of the brain. Disorders of brain maturation during pregnancy or birth complications can also be causative factors. In adolescents and young adults, accidents and brain tumors are the primary causes of epilepsy. In adults and the elderly, circulatory disturbances and strokes or degradation processes in the brain play a primary role. However, the causes of epilepsy often remain unclear.
Recent research suggests that epilepsy may also be inherited.
Symptoms: Signs of epilepsy
There are various signs of epilepsy. These can also change in the course of the disease.