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How Long Can A Seizure Last Before Brain Damage

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What Your Caregiver Should Do If You Are Having A Seizure

Status Epilepticus: A Seizure Emergency

Family members and caregivers should watch closely during a seizure so they can describe what happened to your doctor and other health care providers. They should make a diary with the date, time of day, length of time, and a description of each seizure. Your doctor will need this information, along with the medicines you are taking to control your seizures. Most seizures are short and dont cause serious injuries. But its important for your caregivers to know what to do to keep you from hurting yourself during a seizure.

When someone is having a seizure, do the following:

Why Does The Brain Need Oxygen

The brain represents just 2% of a person’s body weight, yet it uses about 20% of the body’s oxygen supply. Without it, the brain can’t perform even the most basic functions. The brain relies on glucose to power the neurons that control everything from conscious functions like planning and thought to automatic, unconscious processes like managing heart rate and digestion.

Without oxygen, the brain’s cells cannot metabolize glucose, and therefore cannot convert glucose into energy.

When your brain is deprived of oxygen, then, the ultimate cause of brain death is inadequate energy to power the brain’s cells.

How To Help Someone Who Is Experiencing A Seizure

Most of the time a seizure does not require urgent medical attention. The best thing you can do is make sure the person is safe and comfortable and will not get injured during the seizure by:

  • Helping them move into a safe position on the floor or a chair
  • Rolling them onto their side
  • Loosening any clothing that is tight around their neck or could restrict breathing
  • Removing eyeglasses
  • Moving them away from hard or sharp items that could cause injury, but only if you can do so safely
  • Staying with them until the seizure is over

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What If Im With Someone Who Has A Seizure

To help someone who’s having a seizure:

  • Stay calm.
  • Help, but don’t force, the person to lie down on their side, preferably on a flat, comfortable surface.
  • Take the person’s glasses or backpack off and loosen any tight clothing near the neck.
  • Don’t restrain or hold the person.
  • Move objects, especially sharp or hard ones, away from the person.
  • Stay with the person or make sure another friend or trusted person stays with them.
  • Make sure your friend’s breathing is OK.
  • Do not put anything into the person’s mouth during a seizure. They wont swallow their tongue, and forcing the mouth open may cause an injury.
  • Talk with the person in a calm, reassuring way after the seizure is over. If you can, tell them what happened before, during, and after the seizure.

Usually, theres no need to call 911 if the person having a seizure is known to have epilepsy. But do call if the person is injured, has breathing problems, looks blue around the mouth, has another medical condition like diabetes, or has a long seizure or multiple seizures.

Inflammatory Pathways And Epileptogenesis

Seizure Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

How might inflammatory signaling upstream of neurodegeneration increase excitability and subsequent synchronicity? Immune responses in the brain are initiated, maintained and terminated by soluble effector proteins known as cytokines. Although a strong correlation between seizures and elevated inflammatory cytokines or their mRNA transcripts has been reported , emerging experimental evidence indicates that inflammatory cytokines can in turn alter neuronal excitability and synchronicity by modulating receptor function and expression . For example, the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF- has also been shown to promote the recruitment of AMPA receptors to postsynaptic membranes. Interestingly, the recruited receptors preferentially lack the GluR2 subunit and consequently the calcium conductance underlying EPSPs is increased. Additionally, TNF- causes endocytosis of GABAA receptors from the cellular surface, decreasing inhibitory synaptic strength . Taken together these findings demonstrate that TNF can have a profound impact on circuit homeostasis in a manner that can provoke the pathogenesis of seizures.

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What Is Status Epilepticus

A seizure involves abnormal electrical activity in the brain affecting both the mind and the body. Many problems can cause you to have a seizure. These include high fever, brain infections, abnormal sodium or blood sugar levels, or head injuries. If you have epilepsy, you may have seizures repeatedly.A seizure that lasts longer than 5 minutes, or having more than 1 seizure within a 5 minutes period, without returning to a normal level of consciousness between episodes is called status epilepticus. This is a medical emergency that may lead to permanent brain damage or death.

Status epilepticus is very rare, most people with epilepsy will never have it. This condition is more common in young children and elderly adults.

This condition can occur as:

  • Convulsive status epilepticus. Status epilepticus with convulsions may be more likely to lead to long-term injury. Convulsions may involve jerking motions, grunting sounds, drooling, and rapid eye movements.
  • Nonconvulsive status epilepticus. People with this type may appear confused or look like they’re daydreaming. They may be unable to speak and may be behaving in an irrational way.

How Are Absence Seizures Treated

Absence seizures can affect your ability to perform at work or school, so its a good idea to see your healthcare provider about treatment.

Absence seizures can be treated with a number of different antiseizure medicines. The type of medicine that your healthcare provider recommends you take will also depend on what other seizure disorder you may have. If you have more than one type of seizure disorder, you may need to take multiple medicines.

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What Else Should I Know

People with epilepsy can and do live normal lives. If you have epilepsy, you can still do regular activities, go on dates, and get a job. Your doctor will talk about being careful in some situations. For example, you can enjoy swimming, but should always swim with other people to be safe. If your epilepsy is under medical control, youll still be able to drive.

Tell the people close to you friends, relatives, teachers, coaches about your epilepsy and what to do if you have a seizure when they’re with you.

For more information and support, look online at:

Brain Oxygen Deprivation: The Basics

How to help if someone has a tonic seizure – Epilepsy Action Employer Toolkit

Doctors typically refer to two distinct forms of oxygen deprivation: anoxic brain injuries occur when the brain is totally deprived of oxygen due to sudden cardiac arrest, choking, strangulation, and other sudden injuries. Hypoxic brain injuries occur when the brain receives less oxygen than it needs, but is not completely deprived of oxygen. Because the effects of the two injuries are similar, many brain experts use the terms interchangeably.

A few seconds of oxygen deprivation won’t cause lasting harm, so a child who holds his breath in frustration, a combatant choked unconscious during a Jiu-Jitsu match, and a diver who needs a few extra seconds to come up for air are unlikely to experience brain damage. The precise timeline of anoxic brain injuries depends on a number of personal idiosyncrasies, including overall brain and cardiovascular health, as well as the level of blood oxygenation at the time of injury. Generally speaking, injuries begin at the one-minute mark, steadily worsening thereafter.

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What Are The Side Effects Of Treatment

Mild side effects are common, particularly at the beginning of treatment or following changes in the regime. The most common side effect is sedation or lethargy, but other signs can also occur. Most side effects are temporary, and disappear as the cat becomes used to the medication. If side effects persist or seem severe, notify your veterinarian.

DO NOT CHANGE THE DOSE OR TIMING OF MEDICATION WITHOUT CONSULTING YOUR VETERINARIAN FIRST.

Seizures And Memory Networks

2016 study in rats looked at how seizure-like activity impacted memory consolidation. Memory function can be affected in some types of epilepsy, including temporal lobe epilepsy.

Memory consolidation normally happens during sleep and involves small ripples of activity in the hippocampus, the area of the brain concerned with memory.

These ripples can be followed by activity in the prefrontal cortex, an area involved in higher-level cognitive functions.

In people with temporal lobe epilepsy, short bursts of electrical activity called IEDs can happen between seizures. The researchers wanted to see if these abnormal bursts of electrical activity impacted memory in rats. They found that:

  • Stimulating IEDs in rats led to impaired memory in a maze-solving activity.
  • The effect on memory increased with the amount of IEDs that a rat experienced.
  • IEDs beginning in the hippocampus were followed by electrical activity in the prefrontal cortex. This happened while the rats were both asleep and awake.
  • A similar pattern of activity was seen when observing 4 individuals with epilepsy and IEDs.

The researchers believe that IEDs can disrupt normal signaling for memory consolidation. In short, IEDs from the hippocampus may impact how the prefrontal cortex responds to signaling from this area, potentially affecting memory.

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How Are Different Symptoms During A Seizure Described

Many different symptoms happen during a seizure. This new classification separates them simply into groups that involve movement.

For generalized onset seizures:

  • Motor symptoms may include sustained rhythmical jerking movements , muscles becoming weak or limp , muscles becoming tense or rigid , brief muscle twitching , or epileptic spasms .
  • Non-motor symptoms are usually called absence seizures. These can be typical or atypical absence seizures . Absence seizures can also have brief twitches that can affect a specific part of the body or just the eyelids.

For focal onset seizures:

  • Motor symptoms may also include jerking , muscles becoming limp or weak , tense or rigid muscles , brief muscle twitching , or epileptic spasms. There may also be automatisms or repeated automatic movements, like clapping or rubbing of hands, lipsmacking or chewing, or running.
  • Non-motor symptoms: Examples of symptoms that dont affect movement could be changes in sensation, emotions, thinking or cognition, autonomic functions , or lack of movement .

For unknown onset seizures:

  • Motor seizures are described as either tonic-clonic or epileptic spasms.
  • Non-motor seizures usually include a behavior arrest. This means that movement stops the person may just stare and not make any other movements.

Status Epilepticus And Emergency Treatment

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

The following information covers emergency treatment for seizures in the UK. If you are looking for information in another country, please contact your local epilepsy organisation

Most people with epilepsy have seizures that last a short time and stop by themselves. But sometimes, a seizure can last too long and become status epilepticus. Some people may need emergency medicine to treat status epilepticus.

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What Causes A Cerebral Aneurysm

Cerebral aneurysms form when the walls of the arteries in the brain become thin and weaken. Aneurysms typically form at branch points in arteries because these sections are the weakest. Occasionally, cerebral aneurysms may be present from birth, usually resulting from an abnormality in an artery wall.

Risk factors for developing an aneurysm

Sometimes cerebral aneurysms are the result of inherited risk factors, including:

  • genetic connective tissue disorders that weaken artery walls
  • polycystic kidney disease
  • arteriovenous malformations
  • history of aneurysm in a first-degree family member .

Other risk factors develop over time and include:

  • untreated high blood pressure
  • cigarette smoking
  • drug abuse, especially cocaine or amphetamines, which raise blood pressure to dangerous levels. Intravenous drug abuse is a cause of infectious mycotic aneurysms.
  • age over 40.

Less common risk factors include:

  • head trauma
  • brain tumor
  • infection in the arterial wall .

Additionally, high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, diabetes, and high cholesterol puts one at risk of atherosclerosis , which can increase the risk of developing a fusiform aneurysm.

Risk factors for an aneurysm to rupture

Not all aneurysms will rupture. Aneurysm characteristics such as size, location, and growth during follow-up evaluation may affect the risk that an aneurysm will rupture. In addition, medical conditions may influence aneurysm rupture.

Risk factors include:

Will A Person With Epilepsy Die Earlier Than A Person Without Epilepsy

The overall risk of dying is 1.6 to 3 times higher in people with epilepsy than in the general population . The risk of dying among children with epilepsy may be a bit higher since most children without epilepsy have very low risks.

  • People whose epilepsy is caused by things like a stroke or a brain tumor or other problem in the brain may die sooner from the cause of the epilepsy and not the seizures.
  • How frequent and severe a persons seizures are affects their risk for dying.
  • People with seizures with no known cause may die only 2 years earlier than expected.
  • People with seizures with a known cause may die 10 years earlier than expected.

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How Long Does Brain Fog Last And Can You Clear It Quickly

Two very common questions about brain fog are, How long does brain fog last, and Can you clear it quickly. Brain fog is a frustrating and draining experience that is all-encompassing. With brain fog, you cant think clearly, remember things big and small, or focus and concentrate .

It can seem like youre trapped in a gauzy shroud, able to see the world around you but unable to fully join it or find the words to call out for help. Brain fog is not an enjoyable condition, and asking how long brain fog lasts and how you can clear it quickly are logical questions. Read on for some answers and the beginning of the end of your brain fog.

What Are The Complications Of Status Epilepticus

How to help if someone has a tonic clonic seizure – Epilepsy Action Employer Toolkit

Complications depend on the underlying cause and can range from no complications to death. If the underlying cause, such as poor epilepsy control, can be fixed, there may no complications. If the underlying cause is a stroke or brain injury, complications may include physical disability from the cause or even death.

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What Are Absence Seizures

An absence seizure causes you to blank out or stare into space for a few seconds. They can also be called petit mal seizures. Absence seizures are most common in children and typically dont cause any long-term problems. These types of seizures are often set off by a period of hyperventilation.

Absence seizures usually occur in children between ages 4 to 14. A child may have 10, 50, or even 100 absence seizures in a given day and they may go unnoticed. Most children who have typical absence seizures are otherwise normal. However, absence seizures can get in the way of learning and affect concentration at school. This is why prompt treatment is important.

Absence seizures are a type of epilepsy, a condition that causes seizures. Seizures are caused by abnormal brain activity. These mixed messages confuse your brain and cause a seizure.

Not everyone who has a seizure has epilepsy. Usually, a diagnosis of epilepsy can be made after two or more seizures.

Absence seizures often occur along with other types of seizures that cause muscle jerking, twitching, and shaking. Absence seizures may be confused with other types of seizures. Doctors will pay close attention to your symptoms in order to make the right diagnosis. This is very important for effective and safe treatment of your seizures.

Its uncommon for absence seizures to continue into adulthood, but its possible to have an absence seizure at any age.

% Of People With Epilepsy Cant Work As Epilepsy Statistics In The United States Uncover

To be clear, not everyone with epilepsy has to stop doing the job they love. However, the disorder could affect ones work. Namely, in the US, the percentage of people with epilepsy who cannot work is 32%. Often, following the loss of productivity, many people with the disorder turn to online therapy sites to find much-needed mental help.

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Stimulation Of The Vagus Nerve

Electrical stimulation of the 10th cranial nerve can reduce the number of focal-onset seizures by more than one half in about 40% of people who have focal-onset seizures. This treatment is used when seizures continue despite use of antiseizure drugs and when surgery is not a possibility.

The vagus nerve is thought to have indirect connections to areas of the brain often involved in causing seizures.

For this procedure, a device that looks like a heart pacemaker Keeping the Beat: Artificial Pacemakers Abnormal heart rhythms are sequences of heartbeats that are irregular, too fast, too slow, or conducted via an abnormal electrical pathway through the heart. Heart disorders are… read more is implanted under the left collarbone and is connected to the vagus nerve in the neck with a wire that runs under the skin. The device causes a small bulge under the skin. The operation is done on an outpatient basis and takes about 1 to 2 hours.

The device is programmed to periodically stimulate the vagus nerve. Also, people are given a magnet, which they can use to stimulate the vagus nerve when they sense that a seizure is about to begin. Vagus nerve stimulation is used in addition to antiseizure drugs.

Side effects of vagal nerve stimulation include hoarseness, cough, and deepening of the voice when the nerve is stimulated.

How Can I Get Training To Give Emergency Medicine

Status Epilepticus

If you may need to give emergency medicine to your child, family member or someone you care for, you should be shown how to use it. An epilepsy specialist nurse or community nurse will usually give you this training. Tell the nurse if other people, such as school staff, may need to give the emergency medicine. The nurse may be able to train them as well. Schools may also be able to arrange training through their school nurse or local community nursing team.

There are a number of training providers that deliver emergency medicine training. Contact the Epilepsy Action Helpline for a list of training providers.

Epilepsy Action has advice for care home providers on buccal midazolam training.

Further resources

or contact the Epilepsy Action Helpline to request a paper copy. A rectal diazepam care plan is also available on request.

The makers of Buccolam and Epistatus have websites with instructions and videos showing how to administer their products.

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