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Posted by: Health, Nutrition and Fitness on 19/10/2017

What Causes Epilepsy and Symptoms

What Causes Epilepsy and Symptoms

Epilepsy is a common chronic neurological condition which currently affects approximately 65 million people all over the world. It is considered a neurological disease because it affects the brain which is one of the organs that make up the Human Central Nervous System. Epilepsy is generally characterized by body seizures, which are caused by a series of paranormal electrical nerve cell activity in the brain cortex.

Epilepsy has existed since time immemorial with its earliest accounts recorded back in 2000 BC. It was considered a paradox, and due to the lack of any developed information in the field of medicine, some thought it a spiritual attack. The Greek philosopher Hippocrates went down on record as the first person to diagnose the condition correctly and described the condition as hereditary.

At the moment there are several pinpointed causes of Epilepsy, but in all the reported Epileptic cases, a whopping 60% have unknown causes. Causes of Epilepsy can be classified as either Genetic or Acquired.


Genetics plays a role as one of the causes of Epilepsy seeing some of the diagnosed patients have the defective gene. In some cases, this usually results in this gene running in the family hence the children also end up having Epilepsy. However, this does not always happen as there are a good number of cases where the parent is Epileptic but the children are not affected.


•    Brain Tumor.

•    Stroke. This is the number one cause of Epilepsy in old people.

•    Infectious diseases such as Meningitis and AIDS.

•    Traumatic Brain Injury.

•    Brain damage to the fetus even before birth; the damage could be caused by things like maternal drug usage, physically imposed injuries to the fetus or deficiencies in Nutrition/Oxygen.

•    Disorders such Autism and Tuberous Sclerosis.


The main Symptom of Epilepsy is seizures. However, it is good to note that a seizure can go unnoticed because it happens in a matter of seconds. Some seizures occur discreetly as eruptions take place in the brain with no physical signs. Such seizures can be dangerous especially for young children.

Another vital point to note is that there are different types of seizures and the symptoms will vary depending on the kind of seizure.

Here is a list of common seizures with their symptoms:

•    Generalized Onset - Tonic Colonic – Convulsions, rigid muscles, jerking; lasts an average of 3 minutes.

•    Generalized Onset – Absence – A blank stare that lasts for only a few seconds, this is sometimes accompanied by blinking or clenching of the jaw.

•    Focal Onset - Impaired Awareness – Staring and a dazed expression, loss of awareness and memory of that particular moment.

•    Focal Onset – Aware – Jerking, Seizing of one specific body part that may go unnoticeable but the subject is aware at that moment.

•    Atonic – The subject collapses suddenly and takes a couple of minutes to gain consciousness.

•    Myoclonic – Sudden but short seizing or jerking of specific or all body parts.


Epilepsy is a condition that can be easily managed. New forms of treatment are being researched endlessly, but at the moment the most common include the use of Medication, Surgery, and many other medically approved innovations.

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