WHAT IS EPILEPSY?
Epilepsy is a condition in which a person has recurrent seizures. A seizure is defined as an abnormal, disorderly discharging of the brain's nerve cells, resulting in a temporary disturbance of motor, sensory, or mental function.
There are many types of seizures, depending primarily on what part of the brain is involved.
Discuss options with your doctor or neurologist for treatment of epilepsy seizures. Follow their advice, especially if you are on prescribed medications, generally anticonvulsants.
The VNS, Vagus Nerve Stimulator, is a generator, implanted under the skin below the patient’s left chest under the clavicle. Lead wires from the generator are wired up to the patient’s neck and wrapped around the left vagus nerve at the carotid sheath to connect electrodes to the generator. It delivers electrical impulses to the vagus nerve at regular intervals. VNS is an adjunctive treatment for certain types of intractable epilepsy.
Another option is epilepsy surgery. Your doctor would discuss your options and possibilities of an operation. A neurosurgeon becomes involved and will provide epilepsy tests to see if you are a likely candidate for surgery.
Neurosurgeons can surgically remove the part of your brain where seizures happen, a brain lesion, a brain lobe, or a portion of a brain lobe. The most common type of surgery is a temporal lobectomy.
Healthy people may have seizures under certain circumstances. If the seizures have a known cause, the condition is referred to as secondary or symptomatic epilepsy.
Well-known people with Epilepsy:
Agatha Christie, Alexander the Great, Alexander Kovalev, Bud Abbott, Charles Dickens, Danny Glover, Derek Morris, Edgar Allan Poe, Elton John, Julius Caesar, Martin Luther, Michelangelo, Neil Young, Prince, Richard Burton, Sir Walter Scott, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, Vincent Van Gogh!
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan :
A radiologic imaging technique that uses magnets and a computer to produce pictures of soft tissue in the brain
Computerized Axial Tomography (CT or CAT scan) :
Scans used to produce images of the brain created by a computer with data from multiple x-rays. Images from a CT scan are less detailed than MRI scans
Electroencephalography (EEG) :
Recording electrical activities of the brain. Recorded from multiple electrodes placed on the scalp. EEG is most often used to diagnose brain disorders, but has decreased with the imaging techniques such as MRI and CT
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