Epilepsy is a universally challenging disease. "Seizure" is an alternative term for "epileptic attack.” Epilepsy is a disorder in which nerve cells of the brain from time to time release abnormal electrical impulses. These cause a temporary malfunctioning of the other nerve cells of the brain, resulting in alteration of, or complete loss of consciousness.

 
What Causes Epilepsy?

The brain consists of millions of nerve cells called Neurons, and their supporting structure. Each neuron maintains itself in an electrically charged state. It receives electrical signals from other neurons, and passes them on to others. What actually happens is that a small quantity of a special neurotransmitter substance is released from the terminals of one neuron. This chemical excites an electrical response in the neuron next in the chain, and so the signal moves onward.

All the functions of the brain, including feeling, seeing, thinking and moving muscles depend on electrical signals being passed from one neuron to the next, the message being modified as required. The normal brain is constantly generating electrical rhythms in an orderly way.

In epilepsy this order is disrupted by some neuron discharging signals inappropriately. There may be a kind of brief electrical "Crisis" arising from neurons that are inherently unstable because of a genetic defect as in the various types of inherited epilepsy.

    Sometimes neurons are made unstable by metabolic abnormalities such as low blood glucose or alcohol. Alternatively, the abnormal discharge may come from a localised area of the brain as in the situation in epilepsy patients caused by head injury or brain tumour. Epilepsy can strike anyone at any age. Children may have “Febrile fits” due to very high temperature and bacterial toxins.

Varieties of Epilepsy

There are several forms of epilepsy. Most people would have seen someone suffer a major epileptic seizure, suddenly losing consciousness, jerking the arms and legs etc. But there are other types of epilepsy. For example, one common form of epilepsy in children causes them to stare and lose contact with the surroundings for a few seconds.

A seizure starts as partial seizures, where the abnormal electrical discharge originates from one specific area of the brain, and generalised seizures, where the whole brain is involved.

Partial Seizure
    Simple partial seizures are those in which the epileptic activity in one area of the brain does not interfere with consciousness. Thus, a person to whom epilepsy has been caused by injury to the area of the brain which controls movements of one leg may experience a series of involuntary jerking movements of that leg as the only symptom.

    Complex partial seizures do involve some alteration of awareness. The commonest example is where the discharge originates from one of the temporal lobes of the brain. Here the attack could be of a feeling of intense familiarity with the surroundings being unable to respond. Automatic choping movements of the jaw may occur. It is possible that each form of partial seizure may occassionally lead to a generalised seizure, if the epileptic disturbance is strong enough.

    Generalised Seizures

     This forms of epilepsy was previously known as "petit mal", and "Grand mal". Petit mal mean "little sickness" and grand mal mean "big sickness."

Petit mal
    It may begin in childhood. The child may be seen to stare vacantly for a few seconds, often fluttering the eyelids briefly, and seeming to be out of contact with the surroundings. The child does not fall to the ground, and recovery is prompt, although the attacks may recur repeatedly, up to many times in the day. The school works may then suffer, and the child may be accused wrongly of "day-dreaming."

Grand mal
    The"grand mal" attacks are dramatic. There may be a brief warning consisting of a feeling of sinking or rising in the pit of the stomach or the person may cry out or groan before losing consciousness completely. The limbs become stiff and rigid, and breathing stops, causing the lips to go blue. The eyes are rolled upward, and the jaws are clenched. If the tongue or lips are in the way, they will be bitten. This "tonic phase" is followed by the "clonic phase."

    The body is shaken by a series of violent, rhythmic jerkings of the limbs. These usually cease after a couple of minutes. The person then recovers consciousness, but may be confused for several minutes, and wishes to sleep for an hour or two afterward. Headache and soreness of the muscles, which have contracted so violently, are commonly experienced for a day or more after the attack.

What are the Causes?

     Heredity plays a major role. Family history of similar episode is seen in many epileptics. An inherited instability in the functioning of neurons seems to be responsible for the common forms of generalised epilepsy. The abnormality lies in the structure of the neuron's outer membrane, leading to electrical instability..

     Injury to the brain may certainly cause epilepsy such as trauma and stroke. Metabolic disturbance can produce generalised seizures through disturbing the normal functioning of neurones. This may occur when there is severe lowering of blood glucose levels, and severe malfunctioning of the liver or kidneys. .

     Alcohol and drug abuse may cause seizures during intoxication. Withdrawal of certain medications such as barbiturates and other sedatives can cause epileptic seizures in those who have taken them for a long period..

     Brain tumour is, fortunately, a relatively uncommon cause of epilepsy, but it must be excluded in all patients who develop epilepsy for the first time during adult life.

     Bacterial toxins may impair the metobolism of a neuron to give rise to fits. Febrile fits are very common in childhood.

Treatment

Homoeopathic Medicines have dynamic action to revitalise the metabolic activity of neuron and eliminate the disease force gradually. However, a patient cannot be managed during acute "Crisis” with homoeopathic medicines, but gradually it brings normalcy. It needs some supportive, material doses. Material doses can be withdrawn after patient gets less frequency of attack and general improvement..

     I had asked my patients not to withdraw immediately altogether while I continued with my treatment. It is a surprise to note that there are number of patients who have recovered with excellent results. I do not observe any interaction between the treatments. The simple reason behind this is our medicines are administered in most diluted form so there is no material or chemical substance to react with each other.

     I had treated many cases of seizure. The children and middle age groups respond quickly. Some patients are free from attacks. No Medications now!


Clinical evidence

 

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