Epilepsy Treatment in India
Epilepsy is a chronic disorder, the hallmark of which is recurrent, unprovoked seizures. Many people with epilepsy have more than one type of seizure and may have other symptoms of neurological problems as well.
- Epilepsy means the same thing as “seizure disorders”
- Epilepsy is characterized by unpredictable seizures and can cause other health problems
- Epilepsy is a spectrum condition with a wide range of seizure types and control varying from person-to-person
- Seizures are known as Fits,convulsions or episodes .
Causes of Epilepsy
- Brain malformations
- Lack of oxygen during birth
- Low levels of blood sugar, blood calcium, blookd magnesium or other eletrolyte disturbances
- Inborn errors of metabolism
- Intracranial hemorrhage
- Maternal drug use
In Infants and Children:
- Fever (febrile seizures)
- Brain tumor (rarely)
In Children and Adults:
- Congenital conditions (Down’s syndrome; Angelman’s syndrome; tuberous sclerosis and neurofibromatosis)
- Genetic factors
- Progressive brain disease (rare)
- Head trauma
- Alzheimer’s disease
The main symptoms of epilepsy are repeated seizures. There are many different types of seizure, depending on the area of the brain affected. Signs of a seizure can be subtle or dramatic. The affected person could:
- Simply stare at nothing for a few seconds
- Lose consciousness
- Exhibit strange behavior (such as speaking nonsense)
- Convulse violently
A person may black out and fall on the ground
A person may tremble or twitch.
Types of Epilepsy
1. Partial Epilepsy
- Complex partial seizure
- Simple partial seizure
2. Generalized Epilepsy
- Generalized tonic clonic seizures
- Myoclonic epilepsy
Partial is becoming generalized
Who should consider Epilepsy Surgery
- A person who has at least one fit major or minor per week on an average
- A person who has side effects from taking drugs in order to control epilepsy
- A person who has tried 2-3 drugs for more than two years
Diagnosis and Tests for Epilepsy
Diagnosing epilepsy is not simple. Doctors gather lots of different information to assess the causes of seizures. If you have had two or more seizures that started in the brain you may be diagnosed with epilepsy. Getting a diagnosis is not always easy as there is no single test that can diagnose epilepsy. There are a number of tests that can help rule out other causes. These include:
A sample of blood will usually be taken from your arm with a syringe. The sample is used to check your general health and to rule out other possible causes for your seizures, such as low blood sugar levels or diabetes.
An ECG is used to record the electrical activity of the heart. This is done by sticking electrodes (a bit like plasters) to the arms, legs and chest. These electrodes pick up the electrical signals from the heart.
An ECG does not give out electrical signals, so having one doesn’t hurt. An ECG can help to rule out the seizure being caused by the way the heart is working.
CT scans (computerised tomography)
A CT scan is a type of X-ray that shows the physical structure of the brain. During the scan, you’ll usually lie on your back on a flat bed. The CT scanner, which looks like a giant thick ring, will rotate around your head, taking X-rays
MRI scans (magnetic resonance imaging)
An MRI scanner uses radio waves and a magnetic field to show the physical structure of the brain. During the scan, you lie inside the MRI machine, which is a very large tube.
An MRI scanner is more powerful than a CT scanner. It has a higher chance of showing something in your brain that could cause epilepsy.
Surgery for Epilepsy
- Epilepsy surgery is a procedure that removes an area of your brain where your seizures originate.
- Epilepsy surgery works best for people who have seizures that always originate in the same place in their brains. To be considered for epilepsy surgery, you must have tried at least two anti-seizure drugs without success. If two appropriate drugs have failed
Epilepsy Treatment Options
Treatment for epilepsy is used to control seizures, although not everyone with the condition will need to be treated. It may sometimes be possible to control your epilepsy solely by avoiding things that trigger your seizures, such as sleep deprivation and alcohol. Medicines are successful in treating epilepsy. These medicines do not cure epilepsy, they prevent recurring of the seizures. These medicines changes the chemical or electrical transmissions in the brain in a particle way that decreases the chance of a seizure.
Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)
Vagus nerve stimulation is designed to prevent seizures by sending regular, mild pulses of electrical energy to the brain via the vagus nerve. These pulses are supplied by a device something like a pacemaker. The vagus nerve is part of the autonomic nervous system, which controls functions of the body that are not under voluntary control, such as the heart rate. The vagus nerve passes through the neck as it travels between the chest and abdomen and the lower part of the brain. The lead of this device is wrapped around one of the nerves on the neck’s left side. This device continuously passes an electric dose to the nerve in order to stimulate it. This process reduces the severity and frequency of the seizures. If a person is feeling a warning seizure symptom then extra stimulation is given for preventing recurrence of the seizure.
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control (refractory) epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fueling brain-function thus reducing the chance of having seizures. Ketogenic diet is not meant for adults as the diet can result in any other serious medical condition like heart disease, high blood pressure or strokes.
Cost of Epilepsy Treatment
Due to excellent health care facilities India is very affordable for treatment of Epilepsy as Compared to the surgical costs in Europe and America.