Neurological disorders explained: Seizures

We’ve seen it on TV, in cartoons – characters getting sudden episodes of fits. It’s almost taken as a hilarious act in some shows but there’s honestly nothing funny about a fit.

Seizures, known by the layman as a fit or simply and episode, is a spontaneous change in the electrical conductivity in your brain that causes a sudden change in movement and behavior. In some forms of seizures, unconsciousness follows before the patient can recover.

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Seizure is a broad term; there are actually several different types of it. Most of these episodes last for only about 30 seconds to two minutes but even this short time period is a serious cause of distress for both the patient and his loved ones.

The underlying pathology of a seizure varies from what caused it in the first place. A neurological disorder, epilepsy, is the leading cause of seizures but meningitis, high-grade fever, certain medications, low sodium levels and even a striking lack of sleep can cause a seizure to occur.

It’s important to know how you need to act if you witness someone with an episode of a fit. During the attack, it’s important that you clear other people away and remove all sharp objects from the vicinity of the patient because you never know if they might lash out. It’s also important to not hold them down or try to stop the uncontrolled movements they make. Waiting is pivotal and it’s also the most hardest.

Once the episode has safely subsided, check in with the doctor. Anticonvulsants are the first line of therapy in patients with seizures along with certain lifestyle changes such as improving sleep quality, stress management and removing triggers.

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