Sunday, 22 June 2008

Neuromaniac: Epilepsy

My post about epilepsy: towards changing the stigma....

I found epilepsy is one of the most common disease in our community in Malaysia and also one of my favourite topics in neurology subject. After falling in love with neurology and realising how complex our brains work then it makes me to move forward, into another point of viewing neurological disease from a different perspective. Apart from understand how it works by this popular neurologic diagnostic formulation: SUMMARISE DEFICIT, LOCALISE LESION AND POSTULATE AETIOLOGY ; why not we make it as a holistic treatment by assimilating with the feeling of the people suffer with this matter.

Article below was extracted from Utusan Malaysia( kesihatan):
Absorb it!

Talking about epilepys, for sure most of us do not really know about it. The term somehow "not really tell what it is"...
So let me tell you.....Epilepsy is a sudden, paroxysmal discharge of cerebral neurones( grey matter).
Most of us know it as "sawan" and our people like to associate this with "manmade" disease, probably through magic stuff. In fact,scientifically epilepsy is a chronic disease if no early intervention made.
Due to lack of knowledge and awareness, majority of our people regard this as a disturbance from magic thing and to some extent conclude this as a mental problem.
Another improtant fact is epilepsy is not "that bad" or embarassing the patient because it is neither an infectious disease nor related to mental health problem.
Most of the patients have normal IQ level and sometimes they are genius too....Not surprisingly, some of them can achieve lots of success in their lives.
However, they must be under surveillance in which they are not allowed to involve in jobs that requires big machine or any sharp tools.....But, they still can actively take part in sports although some misunderstood this when applying for driving licences. Some of them said they have epilepsy and not "sawan". That is why there is a need for patient to understand their problems as well the people around them.
In some cases, epileptic patients claimed that they do not have bright future and nobody wants to be married with them. What they worry most is the possibility that they will produce babies with congenital mental problem.

In reality, epilepsy can affect anyone regardless of how smart they are. They are professional people with epilepsy. So this is not a bad sign.....

Approximately 100 millions people will experience epilepsy once in their lifetime and about 2millions new cases are reported annually.

" Sawan is caused by sudden excessive electrical discharge in one group of cells, normally lasts in for a very short period. During the attack, neuron in brain's part can be released 500 times/seconds and can disrupt any normal activities of the nerves, glands and muscles."

This can be seen in the form of jerky movement and chills, loud voices like snoring or sudden fall or it could be the combination of all three.
In real life,the attack can occur in any actions and or movement being it conscious or not.

Urgent treatment needed:

The best way is to bring the patients to the hospital for further management. And the history from the witnesses are very much in need for this.

The best way to differentiate epilepsy and other problems is when there is continual attack, a gap of time between the attack with same type of attack.
Investigation needed to confirm this such as EEG, CT scan and MRI.

Patients also are given drugs like antiepileptics drugs which have one or more chemical called anticonvulsion. Different patients react to the drugs differently. Some will get adverse effects adn some do not. Sometimes anticonvulsion does not work in patients.

Surgery is needed when the epilepsy is caused by tumour, blood vessels defect, scar or in other conditions. Epilepsy can be cured if the causations are surgically removed. Surgery is also recommended to take out the part of brain in which the epilepsy started at.

However, there are criteria that must be met before the patients can undergo surgical treatment. The main thing is patient must have a clear aim in life after operation. Most of the patients will face different type of lives before and after procedure.They are hoped to be independent and proceed the life as a new person. Patient without a clear cut aim is not recommended for surgery.

Surgery will only be done if the patients have scar or growth in the brain as well as compliant to the medications.

With the advancement in medical field and technology , epilepsy and epileptic seizure are not the obstacles towards having an active and perfect life...

We pray for the epileptic patient to look at another positive side in viewing his or her medical problems.

ALLah gives us some worldy test to know our level of Iman. Taking care of our health and body means we are taking care of this "amanah from Allah"....Grateful to Allah for give us an insight into the real world problem and make us to be one on HIS great servants.......


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