The doctor. Lecanda, a prestigious specialist in Neurology, and expert in the treatment of pathologies such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Migraines, Strokes and Multiple Sclerosis, among other pathologies, reports in this article another of his specialties, Epilepsy.
Epilepsy is a "pathology characterized by recurrent epileptic seizures (two or more), not caused by an immediately identifiable cause," as defined by the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) in 1993. He also defined epileptic seizures as "a clinical manifestation caused by an abnormal and excessive discharge of a group of brain neurons. Clinical manifestations consist of abnormal and transient abnormal phenomena that may produce alterations in the level of consciousness, motor, sensory, sensory, autonomic or psychic, perceived by the patient or an observer.
Epilepsy is much more common in men than in women, and it is estimated that in Spain there are 300,000 epileptics and about 15,000 new cases each year.
Etiology of epilepsy
A large percentage of epileptic seizures are idiopathic, of genetic origin. On the one hand there are hereditary pictures, in which the epileptic crisis is one more manifestation of the systemic disease. In other cases epilepsy is conditioned by an abnormality in a particular gene that is transmitted by a certain pattern of inheritance (chromosome 6 in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy). A certain family predisposition may also be transmitted to suffer crises before stimuli such as sleep deprivation or fever.
The etiology of epilepsy differs with age. In infants and preschoolers, crises are the result of congenital malformations, metabolic disorders, meningoencephalitis, and birth trauma. In children and youngsters, genetic cases predominate, while secondary epilepsies increase in secondary age, being especially important stroke (Stroke) in people over 60. In youth and adults the most common causes of epilepsy are tumors, trauma and toxic (especially alcohol).
What are epileptic seizures?
Epileptic seizures are divided into partial and generalized seizures. In turn, within the partial are simple or complex. The first are those with motor signs, special somatosensory or sensory hallucinations, with autonomic and psychic signs and symptoms.
Generalized ones are those in which both cerebral hemispheres are activated, they are usually associated with an initial loss of consciousness. Included in this group are absences, myoclonic and atonic and tonic crises. And the presence in the EEG. synchronous and symmetric bilateral diffuse discharges.
Absences are characterized by the disconnection of the medium of a few seconds duration, clonic tonic crises present with sudden loss of consciousness followed by muscle tonic contractions in flexion or extension, tongue bite, mouth foam and sphincter relaxation. Myoclonic seizures are characterized as sudden and slight muscular jerks, sometimes triggered by a luminous stimulus.
Neurology specialists state that depending on where the irritative epileptic focus is, the symptomatology can be very variable: motor, sensory, sensory, and so on.
Treatment of epileptic seizures
Depending on the type of crisis, antiepileptic drugs with a varied mechanism of cerebral action. Monotherapy or polytherapy drugs control seizures. The knowledge of the various mechanisms of action such as the gabergic facilitation, glutaminergic inhibition, inhibition of sodium and calcium channels and others make possible a good management and control of crises.
Neurosurgical treatments, previous study of the focus and the brain injury by PET, SPECT, or Functional Resonance and Spectroscopy make possible the treatment of crises and epilepsy rebellious to medical treatment. Vagus nerve stimulation and ketogenic diets are a plausible alternative.
Genetic research provides first-order information for the study of some epilepsies.