Epilepsy, sometimes referred to as seizure disorder, is a brain disorder. People who have 2 or more seizures will be diagnosed with epilepsy.
There are many possible causes of epilepsy, including strokes, brain tumors, brain infections, traumatic brain injuries, lack of oxygen to the brain (this may occur during birth,) Down Syndrome, other genetic disorders, and neurologic diseases like Alzheimer's disease. Even with so many of the potential causes of epilepsy known, there are many people who have an unknown (idiopathic) cause of the disease. In fact, as many as 2 out of 3 people have an unknown cause of epilepsy.
During a seizure, the brain undergoes a change in its normal activity. This change is short-lived, but it can have major consequences. Sometimes a seizure will present itself as a fixated stare or a continued look of confusion. In other cases, the person having the seizure may fall to the ground, shake violently, and lose all awareness. The length of a seizure can be just a few seconds or as much as a couple of minutes, depending on the kind of seizure.
A generalized seizure impacts the whole brain, while a focal seizure impacts only one side of the brain.
An experienced neurologist can do many things to help patients with epilepsy. Seizures can sometimes be stopped or greatly lessened with the right type of treatment. Anti-seizure drugs can be very helpful for most people who suffer from epilepsy. When medicines don't work, there are also other options like surgery, vagus nerve stimulation, or the adoption of a ketogenic diet under the guidance of a neurologist. The ketogenic diet is high in fat and low in carbohydrates, and it has been helpful for many epilepsy patients.
At Progressive Neurology & Sleep Medicine Associates, we accept the majority of private health insurance plans, as well as IEHP and most HMO's in our service area. Please call our office if you do not see your plan listed.
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