What Is Epilepsy?
The human brain is the source of human epilepsy. Although the symptoms of a seizure may affect any part of the body, the electrical events that produce the symptoms occur in the brain. The location of that event, how it spreads and how much of the brain is affected, and how long it lasts all have profound effects. These factors determine the character of a seizure and its impact on the individual. Esssentially, anything the brain can do, it can do in the form of a seizure. Having seizures and epilepsy can affect one’s safety, relationships, work, driving and so much more. Public perception and treatment of people with epilepsy are often bigger problems than actual seizures.
Types of Epilepsy:
- Idiopathic Generalized Epilepsy People with idiopathic generalized epilepsy have normal intelligence and the results of the neurological exam and MRI are usually normal. The results of the electroencephalogram (EEG — a test which measures electrical impulses in the brain) may show epileptic discharges affecting a single area or multiple areas in the brain (so called generalized discharges).
- Myoclonic seizures Symptomatic generalized epilepsy is caused by widespread brain damage. Injury during birth is the most common cause of symptomatic generalized epilepsy. In addition to seizures, these patients often have other neurological problems, such as mental retardation or cerebral palsy. Specific, inherited brain diseases, such as adrenoleukodystrophy (ADL) or brain infections (such as meningitis and encephalitis) can also cause symptomatic generalized epilepsy.
Signs and Symptoms
- Motor signs : Alternating contraction and relaxation of muscle groups Eye movements and turning of the head to the same side Asymmetrical posturing of the limbs Speech arrest, vocalization
- Sensory symptoms : Seeing flashes of lights or colors, illusions and hallucinations Hearing humming, buzzing, hissing noises Experiencing unpleasant odors and tastes Dizziness, lightheadedness
- Autonomic signs and symptoms include the following :
- Borborygmi (rumbling noises produced by gas in the intestines) Flushing Incontinence Nausea, vomiting Piloerection (goose bumps) Pupillary dilation Sweating Tachycardia (rapid heart rate)
- Psychic symptoms : Detachment, depersonalization Dreamy state Memory distortion: flashback, deja vu (feeling that one has seen something before), deja entendu (feeling that one has heard something before), jamais vu (feeling that one has never seen something that is familiar), jamais entendu (feeling that one has never heard something that is familiar), panoramic vision (rapid recall of past events) Time distortion Unprovoked emotion: fear, pleasure, displeasure, depression, anger, elation, eroticism
- Ayurvedic treatment of Epilepsy
- BRAHMI : One tea spoon full of brahmi juice should be taken three times daily.
- VACHA : One tea spoon full of the powder of the root of vacha should be mixed with honey and taken three times daily.
- MANDUKPARNI : This herb is also used in cases of mental retardation, insanity and epilepsy.
- JYOTISHMATI : It is a very powerful nerve and brain tonic which helps in stimulating the intellect and sharpens the memory.
- SHANKHAPUSHPI: This herb is one of the best brain tonic which helps in strengthening and brightening the brain and memory. It is used in the treatment of loss of memory, insanity and epilepsy.
- OTHER NATURAL REMEDIES : Garlic is crushed and boiled in milk. This shows good results. Also ghee made of cow’s milk should be given. Sesame oil or brahmi amla oil is used to massage the head and the soles of the feet.