Understanding of Epilepsy


Epilepsy or epilepsy is a condition that can cause a person to experience seizures repeatedly. Damage or changes in the brain are known to be responsible for a small proportion of epilepsy cases. In most cases, however, the cause remains unknown.

In the human brain there are neurons or nerve cells that are part of the nervous system. Each nerve cell communicates with each other using electrical impulses. In the case of epilepsy, seizures occur when the electrical impulses are over-produced resulting in uncontrolled behavior or body movements.

Seizures are a major symptom of epilepsy, but not necessarily people with epilepsy seizures. In the medical world, a person is suspected of having epilepsy after having more than one seizure. The severity of seizures in each epilepsy sufferer varies. Something lasts only a few seconds and some are up to a few minutes. There are only experienced seizures in some parts of the body and there is also a total seizure to cause loss of consciousness.

According to WHO data, approximately 50 million people in the world live with epilepsy. This figure will increase by about 2.4 million every year. Epilepsy cases are higher in developing countries. In developed countries, epilepsy cases increase by about 30-50 cases per 100,000 population. Whereas in a country with low and medium income per capita cases can increase up to two-fold.

In Indonesia alone obtained data on epilepsy cases of at least 700,000-1.4 million. This number will increase by approximately 70ribu each year. Among these, there are approximately 40-50 percent of cases of epilepsy that occur in children.

Causes of epilepsy

Epilepsy can begin to suffer at any age, although generally this condition occurs since childhood. Based on the cause, epilepsy is divided into two, namely idiopathic and symptomatic.

Epidepsy idiopathic (also referred to as primary epilepsy) is a type of epilepsy whose cause is unknown. Some experts suspect that this condition is caused by genetic factors (heredity). While symptomatic epilepsy (also called secondary epilepsy) is a type of epilepsy whose cause can be known. A number of factors, such as severe head injury, brain tumors, and stroke are thought to cause secondary epilepsy.

Treatment as well as epilepsy complications

Until now there is no drug or method that can cure this condition completely. Even so, antiepileptic drugs or OAE can prevent seizures so that patients can perform daily activities normally with ease and safe.

In addition to drugs, treatment of epilepsy also needs to be supported with a healthy lifestyle, such as regular exercise, not consuming excessive alcoholic beverages, as well as special diets.

The reason why seizures in epilepsy patients need to be handled appropriately is to avoid the occurrence of situations that can endanger the lives of sufferers. Examples are falling, drowning, or having an accident while driving due to seizures.

Epilepsy can also cause sudden death and experience epileptic status in rare cases. The status of epilepticus is a condition when epilepsy suffer seizures for more than 5 minutes or a series of short seizures. When a series of short seizures occur, epileptic status sufferers will usually be in a state that is not fully conscious. The status of epilepticus can cause damage to the brain permanently, even death.