Epilepsy is a condition that affects the brain particularly the main part of the nervous system. Individuals that have epilepsy experience seizures. Seizers occur due to electrical/chemical problems in the brain. Someone may be considered epileptic if they:
- have had a minimum of 1 seizure
- are likely to have more
- had a seizure that was not caused from a different medical condition
Epilepsy seizures can be due to anything that disturbs normal neuron activity. Some causes include:
- Brain injury
- Imbalance in neurotransmitters
- Brain tumors
- Alzheimer's disease
- Cerebrovascular disease
What factors can not cause but trigger seizures?
Certain things can actually trigger seizures to occur and for everyone it is different. Some common triggers are:
- Sleep deprivation
- Certain foods
- Light flashing
- Hormonal changes
- Types of sounds
Click this button below to read an ABC article on a woman and what she found out triggered her seizers.
Some epileptic seizures include:
- loss of consciousness
- jerking movement in limbs
- staring into space
People can either have focal or generalized seizures. They both have their own particular symptoms. People that have seizures usually experience the same type of seizures causing their symptoms to be the same for every episode.
Focal seizures are partial seizures that has two separate sections.
>Simple partial seizures are when the individual does not lose consciousness. What will occur is that they will experience change in emotions, smell, taste, looks, sound. They may also move their legs/arms in a jerking motion.
>Complex partial seizures involve loss of consciousness. The person may stare into space or do repetitive movements.
Generalized seizures are broken down into 6 types of seizures.
>Absence- This often occurs in children. They will stare, blink, lip smack, and have loss of awareness.
>Tonic- Includes stiffening of muscles.
>Atonic- This is when they experience loss of their muscle control.
>Clonic- This type includes jerking in the face, neck, and arms.
>Myoclonic- People would experience twitches in limbs.
>Tonic-clonic- This type is said to be the most dramatic of them all. A individual with this type would experience, loss of consciousness, shaking, loss of bladder control, tongue biting, and body stiffening.
Effective Teaching Strategies
The key to helping students with epilepsy to reach their full potential in school is to understand the students specific condition. Epilepsy varies in symptoms and causes from person to person. Some students could experience a seizure from exhaustion or heat; understanding the students specific condition will help keep the child safe and able to focus on learning.
Some students with epilepsy struggle with retrieving old information, so in the classroom try to eliminate that by providing information the student may need to learn the new concept. In math for example, provide the formula needed. In language arts, using resources can help them a lot such as, graphic organizers, index cards, timelines, etc. Those are some examples of ways to adapt memory recall to recognition.
Thematic teaching is another way to help students with epilepsy. This involves exposing them to the same new concept many times in different ways through out the day. This works best if the parents can reinforce this at home like in their usual morning and evening routine. An example of this would be, labeling the classroom "desk", "chair", "restroom" for the entire class but specifically asking that students parents to label things in the home as well.
In order to treat epilepsy, the person needs to go to their doctor and decide on the right medication. They can do this by knowing the type of seizure they have. Also by taking into account other factors like: person's age, other medical problems, if the person wants to become pregnant, and possible side effects. Along with medication a person has the option to try dietary therapy. Click on the button below to learn more about a dietary therapy called the Ketogenic diet.
If someone's seizures cannot be controlled by dietary therapy or even medications then surgery could be an alternative. Surgery can be especially helpful to individuals who have seizures from brain problems. Examples of those would be brain tumors, strokes, etc. There are benefits to surgery but no guarantee that it will be successful. That is why it is critical to consider all options and weigh the pros/cons.
- Epilepsy Association, 2831 Prospect Avenue Cleveland, Ohio 44115, Phone: (216)-579-1330, Website: www.epilepsyinfo.org
- Epilepsy Foundation, 8301 Professional Place, Landover, Maryland 20785, Phone: (800) 332-1000 Website: www.epilepsyfoundation.org
- Epilepsy Association Support Group, Lake West Hospital, 36000 Euclid Avenue, Willoughby, Ohio 44094 Phone: (440)-953-9600, Website: www.epilepsyinfo.org/html/support.htm
- Peak Potential Therapy, 8848 Commons Blvd #101, Twinsburg, Ohio 44087, Phone: (440)-424-5841, Website: www.peakpotentialtherapy.com
On this button above you can find out the following:
- How many Americans are affected by Epilepsy?
- How common is it?
- How many people are affected worldwide?
- How common is it in children?
- How many Americans die every year from Epilepsy?
If you don't want to look at the other web page then here are your answers to the questions above:
- 3 million
- As common as Breast Cancer
- 50 million
- 30 percent diagnosed are children
- Up to 50,000
Current Medical Research
On March 24, 2015 Science Daily published an article about a research team that has recently identified brain somatic mutations in the gene of mechanistic target of MTOR as the cause of one of the most common inducers to epilepsy, which is common in children. "They propose a targeted therapy to lessen epileptic seizures by suppressing the activation of mTOR kinase, a signaling protein in the brain."
Article can be found at :
- Alison M. Pack. (2014). The Developing Brain Is More Likely to Seize After a Stroke. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3913309/
- Epilepsy Association. Resources Educating the Patient and Family About Epilepsy. Retrieved from: http://epilepsyinfo.org/html/community_resources.htm
- Medicine Net, Inc. (2014). What is Epilepsy? Retrieved from: http://www.medicinenet.com/seizure/page2.htm#what_is_epilepsy
- Patricia O. Shafer. (2014). About Epilepsy: The Basics. Retrieved from: http://www.epilepsy.com/start-here/about-epilepsy-basics