Epilepsy

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What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a well known condition that affects the brain; it causes repeated seizures that are also known as fits. There are three types of epilepsy: Symptomatic Epilepsy; Idiopathic Epilepsy and Cryptogenic Epilepsy. 

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Symptomatic Epilepsy

There are many causes of symptomatic epilepsy;these include: cerebal palsy, drugs and alcohol misuse, birth defects and problems during birth which could cause the baby to be deprived of oxygen.

The Effects of Symptomatic epilepsy, these include: meningitis,strokes and brain tumors.

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Idiopathic Epilepsy

  • There are a variety of idiopathic epilepsy syndromes

  • Children with idiopathic epilepsy may have generalized or partial seizures.

  • Idiopathic epilepsy syndromes are benign and the child will eventually grow out of them.
  • Relatives of a child with idiopathic epilepsy often have a history of seizures.
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Cryptogenic Epilepsy

  • Cryptogenic epilepsy is epilepsy with no obvious cause. There is neither a metabolic problem, nor a clear injury or structural problem with the brain.
  • However doctors suspect that there is an underlying cause for the seizures.
  • Brain imaging has improved over the last several decades, so that doctors can detect smaller lesions and structural problems.
  • As a result, many cases of epilepsy that would have once been called cryptogenic are now known to be symptomatic.
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Cryptogenic Epilepsy

  • Cryptogenic epilepsy is epilepsy with no obvious cause. There is neither a metabolic problem, nor a clear injury or structural problem with the brain.
  • However doctors suspect that there is an underlying cause for the seizures.
  • Brain imaging has improved over the last several decades, so that doctors can detect smaller lesions and structural problems.
  • As a result, many cases of epilepsy that would have once been called cryptogenic are now known to be symptomatic.
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Diagnosis

You are diagnosed after having had more than one seizure, this is because many of us will have a one-off seizure in our lifetime, but that doesn't mean we are epileptic. Some scans can also be used to help determine which areas of your brain are affected by epilepsy.

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Medication

Epilepsy can not be cured so most people will need to continue taking medication for the rest of their lives. Anti-epileptic drugs are the main type of treatment fro most people with epilepsy.

Up to 70% of people cpuld stop having seizures with the right medication, anti-epileptic drugs are a type of medication that aims to try to stop seizures from happening. They cannot stop a seizure when it has started and cannot cure epilepsy.

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Seizures

Epileptic seizures are caused by a disturbance of electrical activity of the brain.

There are many different types of epileptic seizures. Any of us could have a single fit at any point in our lives.

This is not the same as having epilepsy because epiliepsy is a tendancy to have seizures that start in the brain.

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Pregnancy with Epilepsy

It is hard to predict how pregnancy will affect epilepsy, for some women their epilepsy is unaffected; while others may see an improvement in their condition.

But, as pregnancy can cause physical and emotional stress, seizures may become more frequent and severe.

Many women with epilepsy use anti-epileptic drugs to keep their seizures under control. These drugs may increase the risk of the baby of developing physical defects.

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Driving with Epilepsy

Epilepsy can affect your car insurance by increasing the cost as insurance companies think that you may have a fit when you are driving and then claim the compensation.

Many people with epilepsy are able to drive

Between 5% and 10% of people crash a car each year

For people with epilepsy, the rate is about 30% to 50% higher.

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