Thursday, June 16, 2022

How Does Epilepsy Affect The Brain

Don't Miss

The Social And Emotional Impact Of Epilepsy

What is epilepsy?

Having epilepsy can have an effect on your childs social and emotional wellbeing. They might feel frightened about having seizures, or worry about being different from other children. They might feel isolated from their friends. They could be bullied because of their epilepsy. All these things could affect your childs mood and behaviour.It is important that the school is aware of these possible things your child might be going through. They could all have an effect on your childs behaviour and wellbeing at school.

A Basic Mechanisms Of Focal Seizure Initiation And Propagation

The hypersynchronous discharges that occur during a seizure may begin in a verydiscrete region of cortex and then spread to neighboring regions. Seizureinitiation is characterized by two concurrent events: 1) high-frequency burstsof action potentials, and 2) hypersynchronization of a neuronal population. Thesynchronized bursts from a sufficient number of neurons result in a so-calledspike discharge on the EEG. At the level of singleneurons, epileptiform activity consists of sustained neuronal depolarizationresulting in a burst of action potentials, a plateau-like depolarizationassociated with completion of the action potential burst, and then a rapidrepolarization followed by hyperpolarization. This sequence is called theparoxysmal depolarizing shift. The bursting activity resulting from therelatively prolonged depolarization of the neuronal membrane is due to influx ofextracellular Ca++, which leads to the opening ofvoltage-dependent Na+ channels, influx ofNa+, and generation of repetitive action potentials. Thesubsequent hyperpolarizing afterpotential is mediated by GABA receptors andClâ influx, or by K+ efflux,depending on the cell type.

The “Interictal Spike and Paroxysmal Depolarization Shift”

What Is The Impact Of The Epilepsies On Daily Life

The majority of people with epilepsy can do the same things as people without the disorder and have successful and productive lives. In most cases it does not affect job choice or performance. One-third or more of people with epilepsy, however, may have cognitive or neuropsychiatric co-concurring symptoms that can negatively impact their quality of life. Many people with epilepsy are significantly helped by available therapies, and some may go months or years without having a seizure. However, people with treatment-resistant epilepsy can have as many as hundreds of seizures a day or they can have one seizure a year with sometimes disabling consequences. On average, having treatment-resistant epilepsy is associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment, particularly if the seizures developed in early childhood. These impairments may be related to the underlying conditions associated with the epilepsy rather than to the epilepsy itself.

Read Also: What Happened To Jfk’s Brain

B Basic Neurophysiology And Neurochemistry Governing Excitability

Given that the basic mechanism of neuronal excitability is the actionpotential, a hyperexcitable state can result from increasedexcitatory synaptic neurotransmission, decreased inhibitory neurotransmission,an alteration in voltage-gated ion channels, or an alteration of intra- orextra-cellular ion concentrations in favor of membranedepolarization. A hyperexcitable state can also result when severalsynchronous subthreshold excitatory stimuli occur, allowing their temporalsummation in the post synaptic neurons.

Action potentials occur due to depolarization of the neuronal membrane, withmembrane depolarization propagating down the axon to induceneurotransmitter release at the axon terminal. Theaction potential occurs in an all-or-none fashion as a result of local changesin membrane potential brought about by net positive inward ion fluxes. Membranepotential thus varies with activation of ligand-gatedchannels, whose conductance is affected by binding toneurotransmitters or with activation of voltage-gatedchannels, whose conductance is affected by changes in transmembranepotential or with changes in intracellular ion compartmentalization.


Experimental studies using animal epilepsy models have shown that NMDA, AMPA andkainate agonists induce seizure activity, whereas their antagonists suppressseizure activity. Metabotropic agonists appear to have variable effects likelydependent upon their different location and mechanisms of signal transduction.

How Is Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Diagnosed

Epilepsy. Causes, symptoms, treatment Epilepsy

Your healthcare provider will ask questions about your medical history and your seizures how long they lasted what you felt before, during and after the seizure where you were and what happened before the seizure started and if something seemed to trigger the seizure . Your healthcare provider might also want to talk to people who were with you during a seizure to gather their observations. It can be helpful to have someone videotape your seizure to show your healthcare provider and to keep a diary of when your seizures occur.

Don’t Miss: What Does It Mean When Your Brain Is Bleeding

What To Do If You See Someone Having A Seizure

  • Roll the person on his or her side to prevent choking on any fluids or vomit.
  • Cushion the persons head.
  • Loosen any tight clothing around the neck.
  • Dont restrict the person from moving or wandering unless he or she is in danger.
  • Do NOT put anything into the persons mouth, not even medicine or liquid. These can cause choking or damage to the persons jaw, tongue, or teeth. Remember, people cannot swallow their tongues during a seizure or any other time.
  • Remove any dangerous objects the person might hit or walk into during the seizure.
  • Note how long the seizure lasts and what symptoms occurred so you can tell a doctor or emergency personnel if necessary.
  • Stay with the person until the seizure ends.
  • The person is pregnant or has diabetes.
  • The seizure happened in water.
  • The seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes.
  • The person does not begin breathing normally or does not regain consciousness after the seizure stops.
  • Another seizure starts before the person regains consciousness.
  • The person injures himself or herself during the seizure.
  • This is a first seizure or you think it might be. If in doubt, check to see if the person has a medical identification card or jewelry stating that they have epilepsy or a seizure disorder.

Don’t try to stop the person from wandering unless he or she is in danger.

Don’t shake the person or shout.

Stay with the person until he or she is completely alert.

How Does Epilepsy Affect The Brain And Nervous System

Published on: April 24, 2018|Categories: Epilepsy

The brain and central nervous system

Epilepsy is typically associated with symptoms of seizure. As such, the primary area that the condition affects is the central nervous system. The brain acts as the central hub in the body. Here, all voluntary and involuntary movements are controlled. Normally, electrical activity runs through the bodys nerve cells and assists the brain is sending messages or telling the body how to behave, react or move.Where there is a dysfunction, abnormal signals disrupt this process and cause distress. This brings on seizures:

Generalized seizures: This type involves both sides of the brain and results in loss of consciousness. A person may experience absence seizures or petit mal seizures which cause blank staring , no recollection of the experience or twitching and rapid blinking, or atonic seizures or drop attacks where a sudden loss of muscle tone occurs and causes a sufferer to fall uncontrollably and without warning. Other seizure variations include a generalized tonic-clonic seizure or grand mal seizures , and myoclonic seizures . A person can also experience a status epilepticus which is a seizure occurring for longer than 30 minutes at a time. Seizures over an extended period of time can occur as multiples, but a person will not likely regain consciousness in between.

Don’t Miss: Why Do Brain Freezes Happen

How Can I Help Research On The Epilepsies

There are many ways that people with epilepsies and their families can help advance research.

The NIH NeuroBioBank is an effort by the National Institutes of Health to coordinate the network of brain banks it supports in the United States. The brain tissue and data is collected, evaluated, stored, and made available to researchers via a network of brain and tissue repositories in standardized way for the study of neurological, psychiatric and developmental disorders, including epilepsy. A listing of participating NIH NeuroBioBank repositories and additional brain banks is available at the NIH NeuroBioBank website.

Tell Me About Language

What is epilepsy? | Epilepsy Society

Different sites in the brain are in charge of speaking, understanding, and storing words. For speaking, Broca’s area takes the lead role. Broca’s area is located just above the front of the temporal lobe. It is the center for outgoing words. It receives information from the many parts of the brain where words are stored. It then sends this information to the part of the brain that controls your mouth. To understand words that you hear or read, Wernicke’s area steps in. Wernicke’s area is on the top part of the temporal lobe, toward the back. It is the center for incoming words. When you hear and understand words, phrases, and sentences, it is because Wernicke’s area has done its job. Words are stored in many different places throughout the brain. New research is finding that names and words may be stored by categories. For example, the names of animals are stored toward the front of the temporal lobe. Tools are stored farther back. Faces are stored at the bottom back section of the temporal lobe. Names of people that are close to you are stored at the very front of the temporal lobe, called the temporal pole.

You May Like: Brain Stem Bleed Prognosis

Electrodes Can Give Doctors Peek Into Seizure Path

Kareem Zaghloul, M.D., Ph.D., is a principal investigator at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Of the roughly 3 million people with epilepsy in the U.S., about 30% still have seizures despite being on medication. That’s where research like that from the National Institutes of Health comes in. Kareem Zaghloul, M.D., Ph.D., is a principal scientist at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, Maryland. He has focused much of his research on epilepsy and how advanced surgery techniques can help treat patients when medication isn’t enough. Dr. Zaghloul provided a glimpse into this technique and his work to improve the lives of patients with more advanced treatment needs.

S Of The Brain And Their Functions

The brain is divided into two halves called the right and left cerebral hemispheres:

  • The left side of the brain controls the right side of the body.
  • The right side of the brain controls the left side of the body.

Each part of the brain controls a different activity.

Frontal lobe – Controls muscle movements, thinking, and judgment.

Parietal lobe – Controls sense of touch, response to pain and temperature.

Occipital lobe – Controls vision.

Temporal lobe – Controls understanding of language and memory.

Cerebellum – Controls balance.

You May Like: What Causes Bleeding On The Brain In The Elderly

If My Childs Behaviour Changes What Can I Do About It

The first thing to work out is where the behaviour is happening and who with. If the changed behaviour is happening everywhere, there may be a medical cause. If the change is only happening at home, or at school, it may be worth looking at what might be happening in that particular setting.

Here are some questions to help you work out where the problem might be.

  • Where is it happening?

How Epilepsy Impacts Sleep

EPILEPSY What Are Seizures and Epilepsy? Epilepsy is a medical ...

Doctors and scientists have long observed a relationship between sleep and epileptic seizures. Aristotle observed this connection in antiquity, and doctors in the late 19th century recognized that most nocturnal seizures occur close to when a person falls asleep and when they are waking up.

Researchers continue to study many important connections between sleep and epilepsy. Sleep is a valuable tool in diagnosing epilepsy and research continues to explore the impact that sleep has on the timing and frequency of seizures.

Don’t Miss: Does A Brain Hemorrhage Hurt

What Brain Functions Are Controlled By The Temporal Lobe

Your temporal lobe processes memories and sounds, interprets vision and governs speech and language. Its also involved in some unconscious/automatic responses such as hunger, thirst, fight-or-flight, emotions and sexual arousal.

Your right and left temporal lobes differ in their functions. One or more functions may be affected depending on the exact location where the seizure starts in your temporal lobe. Right temporal lobe epilepsy may affect such functions as learning and memorizing nonverbal information , recognizing information and determining facial expressions. Your left temporal lobe is usually the dominant lobe in most people. Left temporal lobe epilepsy may affect your ability to understand language, learn, memorize, form speech and remember verbal information.

What Are The Symptoms Of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

Symptoms depend on how your seizure begins.

You may have an aura before a temporal lobe seizure. An aura is an unusual sensation that you feel before a seizure starts. Not everyone experiences an aura. An aura is a part of a focal aware seizure, meaning youre awake and aware while the symptoms occur. They typically last from a few seconds to two minutes.

Sensations you may feel during an aura include:

  • Déjà vu , a memory or jamais vu .
  • A sudden sense of fear, panic or anxiety anger, sadness or joy.
  • A rising sick feeling in your stomach .
  • Altered sense of hearing, sight, smell, taste or touch.

Sometimes, temporal lobe seizures progress to another type of seizure, such as a focal impaired awareness seizure. During this seizure, you lose some degree of awareness for typically 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

Symptoms of focal impaired awareness seizures include:

  • Staring into space or a blank stare.
  • Repetitive behaviors and movements of your hands , eyes and mouth .
  • Confusion.
  • Unusual speech altered ability to respond and communicate with others.
  • Brief loss of ability to speak, read or comprehend speech.

Recommended Reading: Bleeding In The Brain Old Age

Whats The Difference Between Convulsions Seizures And Epilepsy

A convulsion involves uncontrolled, jerky muscle movements and altered consciousness. But people often use the terms convulsion and seizure interchangeably. People also tend to use the word convulsion to refer to a tonic-clonic seizure.

Seizures result from abnormal electrical activity from cells in your brain. You can have a seizure without having any symptoms. Healthcare providers refer to this as an EEG seizure . Most of the time, seizures present with a variety of different symptoms that are described above. Seizures are a symptom of epilepsy, but not all seizures are caused by epilepsy.

Epilepsy is a neurological disease defined by having multiple, ongoing seizures. Epilepsy can be a life-long condition.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Epilepsy is a fairly common condition, affecting 1 in 26 people in the U.S. at some point in their lifetime. There are many treatment options, including anti-seizure medications, special diets, epilepsy surgeries and devices to stop the seizures. The goal is to manage seizures as best as possible. In some cases, epilepsy is a life-long disease. In others, seizures might stop with proper treatment. You can play a part in better managing your seizures. Get an adequate amount of sleep, limit alcohol intake, eat a healthy diet, avoid your seizure triggers and take your medications exactly as directed by your healthcare provider.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/11/2022.


Early Development Of The Cerebral Cortex

How does epilepsy affect daily life?

Developmental lesions, occurring as a result of widespread or localized corticalmalformations, have been increasingly recognized as a cause of epilepsy.Understanding their formation depends upon recognition of normal cerebraldevelopment.

The formation of the cerebral cortex begins as the neural folds begin to close,forming the neural tube by the 22nd gestational day. The prosencephalon, themost rostral portion of the neural tube, is then poised to bud off into thelateral cerebral hemispheres, olfactory bulbs and diencephalon. Both cerebralvesicles begin to bulge from the neural tube by the end of the fifth week ofgestation. By 6 to 8 weeks of gestation, the lamina reuniens, an area of denselypacked, rapidly proliferating neurons, forms between the two expandinghemispheres. After the first 6 weeks of gestation, the hemispheres expand byincreasing the number of neurons and glia and then by the growth of existingneuronal and glial cell processes. By 3 months of gestation, the nervous systemhas its full adult complement of neurons, but these must functionally mature andevolve. Glial proliferation continues throughout life.

Cortical Development

Recommended Reading: Jfks Brain

When To Get Medical Help

See a GP if you think you might have had a seizure for the first time.

This does not mean you have epilepsy, as a seizure can have several causes and sometimes they’re just a one-off, but you should see a doctor to find out why it happened.

  • is having a seizure for the first time
  • has a seizure that lasts more than 5 minutes
  • has lots of seizures in a row
  • has breathing problems or has seriously injured themselves

Treatment can help most people with epilepsy have fewer seizures or stop having seizures completely.

Treatments include:

  • medicines called anti-epileptic drugs these are the main treatment
  • surgery to remove a small part of the brain that’s causing the seizures
  • a procedure to put a small electrical device inside the body that can help control seizures
  • a special diet that can help control seizures

Some people need treatment for life. But you might be able to stop treatment if your seizures disappear over time.

Can Epilepsy Be Prevented

Although many causes of epilepsy are out of your control and unpreventable, you can reduce your chance of developing a few conditions that might lead to epilepsy, such as:

  • To lower your risk of traumatic brain injury , always wear your seatbelt when driving and drive defensively wear a helmet when biking clear your floors of clutter and power cords to prevent falls and stay off ladders.
  • To lower your risk of stroke, eat a healthy diet , maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly.
  • Seek therapy for substance abuse. Alcohol and other illegal drugs can damage your brain, which can then lead to epilepsy.

Don’t Miss: Explain Brain Freeze

B Current Theories As To How Inhibition And Excitation Can Be Altered At Thenetwork Level

Our understanding of the CNS abnormalities causing patients to have recurrentseizures remains limited. It is important to understand that seizures andepilepsy can result from many different pathologic processes that upset thebalance between excitation and inhibition. Epilepsy can result from processeswhich disturb extracellular ion homeostasis, alter energy metabolism, changereceptor function, or alter transmitter uptake. Despite major differences inetiology, the outcome of synchronous bursting of cortical neurons maysuperficially appear to have a similar phenotype. Seizure phenotype may bemodified more by the location and function of the neuronal network recruitedinto the synchronous bursting than by the underlying pathophysiology.

EEG: Absence Seizure

More articles

Popular Articles