Diseases

Epilepsy

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Martina Feichter

Martina Feichter studied biology in Innsbruck with an optional subject in pharmacy and also immersed herself in the world of medicinal plants. From there it was not far to other medical topics that still captivate her today. She trained as a journalist at the Axel Springer Academy in Hamburg and has been working for lifelikeinc.com since 2007 - first as an editor and since 2012 as a freelance author.

More about the lifelikeinc.com expertsepilepsy (Latin epilepsy) is also called "epilepsy" in German and colloquially often referred to as cramping. Epilepsy is a malfunction of the brain. It is triggered by nerve cells, which suddenly fire impulses simultaneously and discharge themselves electrically.

ICD codes for this disease: ICD codes are internationally valid medical diagnosis codes. They are found e.g. in medical reports or on incapacity certificates. G40G41ArtikelübersichtEpilepsie

  • What is epilepsy?
  • Epileptical attack
  • First aid
  • Epilepsy in children
  • symptoms
  • Cause and risk factors
  • Examinations and diagnosis
  • treatment
  • Course and prognosis
  • Living with epilepsy

Quick Overview

  • Description: Epilepsy is characterized by epileptic seizures. These are short-term dysfunctions of the brain in which nerve cells are discharged electrically in extreme form.
  • To shape: There are several types of seizures and forms of epilepsy, such as generalized seizures (such as absences or "grand mal"), partial seizures, Rolando epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, West syndrome, etc.
  • Causes: partly unknown, partly due to another illness (brain damage or inflammation of the skin, concussion, stroke, diabetes etc.). Very often, only the combination of genetic predisposition and another disease leads to the development of epilepsy, experts believe.
  • Treatment: usually with medication (antiepileptic drugs). If these are not effective enough, surgery or electrical stimulation of the nervous system (such as vagus nerve stimulation) can sometimes be considered a treatment.
Powerlessness - when is it dangerous? A powerlessness is always a frightening experience for the person concerned. But does any fainting have to be treated by the doctor? Fainting is always a frightening experience for the person affected. But must any fainting be treated by the doctor?

What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy ("epilepsy") is one of the most common transient brain dysfunctions. It is characterized by epileptic seizures: Nerve cells (neurons) in the brain suddenly fire synchronized and uncontrolled pulses for a short time.

Such a seizure can be pronounced to different degrees. Accordingly, the effects are variable. For example, some patients experience only a slight twitching or tingling of individual muscles. Others are briefly "as if stepping away" (absent). In the worst case, it leads to an uncontrolled seizure of the whole body and to a short unconsciousness.

Epilepsy: definition

According to the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), epilepsy is diagnosed in the following cases:

  • There are at least two epileptic seizures more than 24 hours apart. Most of these seizures come "from nowhere" (unprovoked seizures). On the other hand, triggers for seizures can be detected in more rare forms of epilepsy, such as light stimuli, sounds or warm water (reflex attacks).
  • Although there is only a single unprovoked attack or reflex attack, the probability of further seizures over the next ten years is at least 60 percent. It is just as big as the general risk of relapse after two unrequested seizures.
  • There is a so-called epilepsy syndrome, for example, the Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). Epilepsy syndromes are diagnosed on the basis of specific findings, such as type of seizure, electrical brain activity (EEG), the result of imaging examinations, and the age of onset.

From this "real" epilepsy you have to call so-called opportunity seizures differ. These are single epileptic seizures that can occur in the course of various diseases. As soon as the acute illness subsides, these occasional cramps also disappear. An example of this are febrile convulsions: These epileptic seizures occur in connection with fever, especially in young children. There are no indications of an infection of the brain or any other specific cause.

In addition, occasional cramps, for example, in severe circulatory disorders, poisoning (with drugs, heavy metals), inflammation (such as meningitis = meningitis), concussion or metabolic disorders occur.

Epilepsy: frequency

In industrialized countries such as Germany, between five and nine out of every 1,000 people are affected by epilepsy. Every year, about 40 to 70 out of every 100,000 people become ill. The highest risk of disease is in childhood and beyond the 50th to 60th year of life. However, epilepsy can basically occur at any age.

In general, the risk of developing epilepsy over the course of life is currently around three to four percent - and rising as the proportion of older people in the population increases.

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