People know this disease from time immemorial. Historians of medicine say that there is no such substance, mineral, animal or vegetable origin, which would not be tried to treat epilepsy. Some consider people who suffer from this disease mentally inferior, others – geniuses.
In fact, there is no single disease called epilepsy. In everyday life, this term is applied to a whole group of diseases with very different clinical manifestations and different outcomes. Today, medicine knows more than 60 of these diseases. Among them, there are very severe forms, which are painful and difficult to treat. And there are also such – doctors even call them benign – which do not cause special inconveniences to the patient and pass by themselves, even without drug treatment.
Most often, children and adolescents become ill with epilepsy. Among them epileptic seizures are affected from 0.5% to 1%. There is a disease in adults, mostly elderly people – they actually have epilepsy as a complication after trauma, strokes, and other vascular pathologies.
Usually, we imagine epilepsy like this: the patient suddenly falls, there develop convulsions, foam comes from the mouth, the patient makes some kind of screams, and eventually, stunned, falls asleep. In fact, such classic attacks – doctors call them generalized tonic-clonic – are not for all patients. Most often, epilepsy declares itself as a loss of consciousness or some kind of its violation. A person – a child or an adult – begins to behave inadequately: does not react to others, does not answer questions, etc.
If you do not pay attention to absences in time, the seizures will persist. The child will not be able to attend school because, with this form of epilepsy, seizures are very frequent, tens and even hundreds a day.
Sometimes there are night attacks, and they do not always look like a classic generalized tonic-clonic seizure. Parents note that the child is taking some unusual poses, his or her various parts are straining, the mouth is twisting. It happens that the patient wakes up, and cannot say anything, although he or she is conscious.
Of course, there are disorders of consciousness that and not related to epilepsy. We think every person would faint or be close to it once in a lifetime. If a person becomes ill in a stuffy room, with a sharp change in body position, after some physical exertion, then most likely, it’s not epilepsy, but just a faint. With epilepsy, seizures occur spontaneously, without reason, as they say, from scratch.
The patient with epilepsy is absolutely counter-indicative of extreme situations, be it work or sport. You should better not become a skyscraper builder, diver or climber. The likelihood of recurrence of the attack is albeit small but there is in all forms of epilepsy, with any, most literate treatment. And what if such an attack occurs under water or at altitude? It is better not to take chances.
Summarizing the conversation about the disease, we can say – if your child has epilepsy, he or she does not necessarily grow up to be a genius. But, most likely, will grow up a normal and full-fledged person in treatment.