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What you need to know about Epilepsy.

43 what you need to know about epilepsy 1


What you need to know about Epilepsy.

by Ekai Kaoo

The term refers to two or more unprovoked seizures in one year. The seizures are sudden and uncoordinated. Epilepsy is normally a manifestation of underlying disorders. If they are linked to a particular part of the brain, then they are called focal or partial epilepsy. However, if they cause unconsciousness and general brain dysfunction, they are called generalised epilepsy.

The manifestations of focal epilepsy are hallucinations of taste, smell or hearing. Jacksonian epilepsy affects motor functions, leading to twitching of particular areas. Generalised epilepsy can either be petit mal seizures or grand mal seizures.

Grand Mal Seizures

In grand mal epilepsy, the patient may be aware that the seizure is imminent. This is followed by an aura phase after which there is a generalised tonic contraction. The third phase is the clonic phase where muscles have jerky movements. The tonic and clonic phases are collectively referred to as the ictal phase. Finally the patient enters the phase of relaxation and moves from coma to sleep. This is the post-ictal phase

Petit Mal Seizures

Petit mal seizures are characterised by a phase of transient loss of consciousness. Perhaps you have seen patients who stare expressionlessly for some time before they continue with their function without being aware. This is a characteristic of petit mal seizures

Primary epilepsy has no known cause. Some of the causes of secondary epilepsy are cerebral scarring due to head injury, cerebral vascular accidents, infections, degenerative CNS diseases and childhood febrile illnesses. It is important to bear this in mind so that you control febrile illness well and avoid head injury in neonates during obstetric care.

Seizures that occur spontaneously in succession are called status epilepticus. These normally occur without recovery. This condition is considered a major medical emergency. Vigorous muscular contractions impose a heavy metabolic demand and can interfere with respirations. At the height of each seizure, some respiratory arrest occurs which produces venous congestion and hypoxia of the brain. Repeated episodes may lead to irreversible and fatal brain damage.

Factors that precipitate status epilepticus include:

•       Withdrawal of anti epileptic drugs

•       Fever and infection

•       Cerebral oedema


Management of status epilepticus includes positioning the patient to lie on the lateral position to prevent inhalation of secretions from the mouth. Give IV (not IM) diazepam 10-30mg STAT slowly over three minutes, repeat if there is no response. If no response put 80mg in 500mls of normal saline, adjust rate to control seizures.

Other useful drugs include phenobarbitone sodium – IM 125mg to 250mg, phenytoin sodium (Epanutin) 100mg tds. Treat hyperpyrexia by temperature reducing measures.

Give care as for the unconscious patient. Oral anti convulsants are given as soon as the patient gains consciousness.

Article source: https://www.zakenya.com/Health-and-Fitness/43-What-you-need-to-know-about-Epilepsy.html


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About the Author

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Emerging from the athletic heartland of Rift Valley, Eka Kaoo was destined to have a relationship with sports. However, instead of lacing up running shoes, Eka picked up a pen, weaving narratives around the athletes who brought pride to Kenya.

Growing up, Eka was deeply inspired by the marathoners and middle-distance runners from his region, often finding himself amidst training camps and local races, absorbing stories of dedication, sweat, and sheer willpower.

Eka pursued his passion academically at a renowned university in Kenya, specializing in Sports Journalism. This formal education, combined with his intrinsic understanding of the Kenyan sporting ethos, allowed him to produce articles that resonated deeply with readers. His pieces, rich with local anecdotes and broad insights, began to get attention both within the university and in the national press.

Upon graduation, Eka became a sought-after name in sports journalism. His writings, spanning across various sports but with a soft corner for track and field, offered a fresh perspective, blending personal athlete stories with technical analyses.

Eka Kaoo's articles soon began appearing in international sports magazines and journals, elevating him to the status of an ambassador for Kenyan sports on the global stage. He covered major events like the Olympics and the World Championships, consistently providing readers with unique, Kenya-centric viewpoints.

Beyond his journalistic endeavors, Eka has been instrumental in organizing grassroots sports events in Kenya, aiming to unearth hidden talents and provide them with a platform to shine.

Today, as one of the leading voices in sports journalism in Africa, Eka Kaoo continues to champion the stories of athletes, always reminding the world of the heart, soul, and spirit of Kenyan sports.

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