Epilepsy is among the most common neurological diseases in the world. At least 5% of patients experience 1 or more epileptic seizure during life. Approximately 0,5%-1% of patients have been diagnosed with epilepsy. This disease affects about 3-5% of the population in some regions. According to the WHO data, 75% of patients don’t receive adequate medical help.
Main risk factors of epilepsy are:
Epilepsy is manifested by the recurring epileptic seizures. They can have various clinical course that depends on the focus of epileptiform activity of the brain location.
During the course of the disease there such periods as:
Attacks can be with aura and without it. The first symptoms of an attack with an aura are:
A classic epileptic attack. A person loses consciousness and falls after an aura (or without it). The muscles of the chest contract and there is a spasm of the glottis, which is manifested by a loud cry. There are tonic cramps: the torso stretches, the head throws back, the veins on the neck swell, and the breath is held. The jaws are compressed. The face turns pale, and then turns blue.
Clonic convulsions occur in 20 seconds. Neck muscles and torso muscles are contracting. Foam comes out the mouth with blood. Frequency of seizures gradually decreases.
All the muscles relax in 2-3 minutes. Involuntary urination might be possible.
Absenses seizures are most often observed in children. Suddenly, the patient stops any activity (conversation, active movements) and freezes or blanks out. At this time the child does not respond to any stimuli. After a few seconds, the activity of the brain is restored. The patient does not notice the attack and continues to act as if nothing had happened. The frequency of such epileptic seizures can reach several dozen a day.
The other possible symptoms of epileptic seizure are:
According to the nature of the clinical course and the dominant symptoms, the doctor can determine in which area of the brain the focus of epileptiform activity is located. But for an accurate definition of it, instrumental diagnostics is required.
Epilepsy is a clinical diagnosis established on the basis of the anamnesis data and physical examination. The reason for the diagnostics are due to 2 and more epileptic seizures experienced by a patient that are not associated to certain causes and trigger factors.
Next instrumental diagnostics methods help to establish a diagnosis:
Epilepsy is NOT diagnosed if:
Most patients receive conservative treatment for epilepsy abroad. Specialists prescribe medication that help to stop seizures and bring the quality of life back to normal. Conservative treatment is effective for 70-80% of patients.
There are cases of the pharmacotherapy-resistant epilepsy (impossibility of complete cessation of seizures with drugs). 20-30% of all patients do not react or react poorly to medication. The number of resistant forms decrease, as new drugs are constantly being developed for the treatment of epilepsy.
Stable result can be achieved with the help of surgical treatment methods. Today, the following directions of operations are applied:
Professionals in German hospitals can cure epilepsy with the help of the latest and modern techniques. Neurosurgical interventions are very complex and require a highly skilled surgeon and state of the art medical equipment. It is important that the operation not only ceases epileptic seizures, but also leaves behind minimum neurological defects.
Therefore, many patients prefer medical tourism. They go to the health clinics in Munich, Berlin and other German cities. Medical tourism allows you to get access to quality medical care, regardless of where you live.
Prognosis for epilepsy depends on its variety. The disease completely passes after taking the medication or with age in the most favourable cases. In most patients, seizures stop with the continuous use of medication. In some patients, epilepsy progresses and eventually leads to irreversible damage of the brain.
The greatest danger is the status epilepticus. This attack lasts for 30 or more minutes, or it can be a series of attacks of a similar total duration, if there is no recovery of the patient's consciousness. Natural course of the attack, without medical assistance, results in fatality for about 50% of sufferers. Among patients who receive care, mortality is 5-10%. Epileptic status at experienced at least once in a lifetime is by 5% of adults and 20% of children with epilepsy.
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