Alternate Names: Epilepsy, Petit mal seizure, Focal seizure, Grand mal seizure, Absence seizure, TonicClonic seizure, Atonic seizure, Myoclonic seizure, Febrile seizure, Simple seizure, Complex seizure, Refractory seizure, Gelastic seizure, Dacrystic seizure
Seizures are caused by areas of abnormal excitability in the brain tissue. The excitability causes more frequent than normal discharge of electrical impulses within the brain that result in loss of voluntary control over the individual’s body or certain areas of the body. There are several different types of seizure. The type of seizure an individual is diagnosed with depends of the area of the brain that is affected. At times, there may be a physical cause for seizures that include but are not limited to fever, infection, traumatic brain injury, brain tumor, brain abscess. Sometimes the absolute cause of a seizure remains unknown. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder of the brain that causes incidences of repeated seizures and is thought to be genetic in origin. Individuals with epilepsy frequently identify triggers that they recognize leading up to the onset of a seizure. Some identified triggers include, lack of sleep, missed antiseizure medication, stress, bright lights, alcohol recreational drug consumption, hormonal changes associated with menstruation for women, missed meals, low blood sugar and caffeine.
Symptoms of Seizures
The signs and symptoms of seizure depend on the area and amount of brain tissue involved. Some types of seizure may involve a loss of consciousness while others do not. Other symptoms may include a visually rhythmic movement of muscle due spams caused by the increased electrical stimulation coming from the brain. Many individuals report no memory (amnesia) of the seizure. Other individuals may experience abnormal sensory symptoms called auras leading up to the onset of the seizure that may include seeing flashing lights, smelling odors, feelings of “pins and needles,” or strange tastes in their mouth. Other symptoms include sleepiness, fatigue, headache, anxiety or frequent episodes of day dreaming or the appearance of “not paying attention” in children.
Treating Seizures or Treatment of Seizures
Several treatment options are available for seizure. Epilepsy or repeated seizures usually require management with antiseizure medications and close follow up with a clinician to maintain therapeutic blood levels and prevent continuation of seizure episodes. Surgical intervention or the placement of a stimulation device that reroutes the abnormal electrical activity in patients who do not respond well to medications may provide effective therapy. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has proven to be an effective treatment option in addition to other therapies in the control and relief or signs and symptoms of seizure activity. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy provides the blood plasma with higher than normal levels of oxygen in a state that is readily available for consumption by the brain’s tissue. In addition, HBOT increases cerebral blood flow by stimulating the growth of additional blood vessels (angiogenesis) for longterm improvement in oxygenation and increased brain function.