Seizures and Epilepsy

Seizures and epilepsy are neurological conditions that affect the brain and cause recurring seizures. At Haynes Neurosurgical Group, we offer expert care and innovative treatments for patients facing these neurological conditions. 

Seizures occur when there is abnormal electrical activity in the brain, leading to a temporary disruption in normal brain function. Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures that can affect people of all ages. 

According to the CDC, about 1.2% of the US population has epilepsy. Some factors may increase the risk of seizures in those predisposed to them. This can include factors such as:

  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Inadequate food intake
  • Frequent alcohol or drug use
  • Failure to take prescribed anticonvulsant medications

Our team at Haynes Neurosurgical Group is committed to providing personalized and effective solutions to enhance the quality of life for patients suffering from seizures and epilepsy.

Understanding Seizures

A seizure occurs when the brain produces a sudden and irregular electric discharge that may cause physical convulsions in the body. Seizure symptoms can manifest in various ways, including: 

  • Staring spells
  • Repetitive movements
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Convulsions
  • Muscle twitching or spasms 
  • Sensory changes
  • Changes in emotional state and behavior

The unpredictable nature of seizures poses challenges to those affected, impacting their daily life, relationships, and overall well-being. 

A multitude of triggers may provoke seizures. These include:

  • Genetic Factors: Inherited conditions may predispose individuals to seizures.
  • Brain Injury: Traumatic injuries, strokes, or other structural brain issues can contribute.
  • Infections: Diseases affecting the brain, such as meningitis, can be a catalyst.
  • Metabolic Imbalances: Disturbances in electrolyte levels or blood sugar may prompt seizures.
  • Lack of Sleep or Fatigue: Sleep deprivation and exhaustion can act as precipitating factors.
  • Drug Withdrawal: Abrupt cessation of certain medications or substances can trigger seizures.

Understanding Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a complex brain disorder known for causing repeated seizures. Epilepsy is typically diagnosed if you’ve had at least two unprovoked seizures unrelated to known medical conditions and at least 24 hours apart. 

These seizures happen when the brain's normal electrical activity temporarily goes haywire. Typically, the brain sends small electrical signals through nerve cells, helping the body communicate effectively.

But for those with epilepsy, this organized process gets disrupted. The brain's electrical patterns become imbalanced, leading to repeated seizures. During these episodes, sudden bursts of energy may temporarily affect your awareness, movement, or feelings.

Your seizure symptoms may indicate the part of the brain from where the seizure originates. For instance, if it is triggered in the area controlling thumb movement, the seizure might manifest as jerking or movement in the opposite thumb or hand.

Epilepsy is a complex condition with diverse causes, and its management requires a nuanced approach. Every person's experience with epilepsy is unique. Our experts at Haynes Neurosurgical Group can help you navigate these complexities.

Symptoms of epilepsy can include one or more of the following.

  • Some patients experience warning signs (auras) before a seizure occurs.
  • Involuntary actions, such as lip-smacking or repetitive movements, called automatisms may occur.
  • After a seizure, a postictal state may involve confusion, fatigue, or memory loss.

Causes of epilepsy can include:

  • Idiopathic: In many epileptic cases, the cause remains unknown and is termed idiopathic epilepsy.
  • Brain Conditions: Structural brain abnormalities or lesions can contribute to epilepsy.
  • Genetic Factors: Certain genetic syndromes may predispose some people to epilepsy.
  • Prenatal Injury: Brain injury during fetal development can lead to epilepsy.

Seizure Types

Neurologically, epileptic seizures may be categorized into two main types: 

  • Primary Generalized Seizures - Primary generalized seizures involve a widespread electrical discharge simultaneously across both sides of the brain. It is often influenced by hereditary factors.
  • Partial Seizures - Partial seizures usually begin with an electrical discharge in a distinct area of the brain. Some partial seizures can be linked to head injury, brain infection, stroke, or tumor. However, in many cases, the cause is unknown. 

Seizure and Epilepsy Treatment

Neurosurgical treatment for seizures and epilepsy can help bring down their frequency or intensity. In fact, it can sometimes help stop them entirely. While a neurosurgical approach may not be advised for every epileptic patient, it may be considered for those with intractable epilepsy.

Seizures and the persistent challenge of epilepsy have a deep effect on a patient’s life. At Haynes Neurosurgical Group, we understand the impact of these conditions. We are dedicated to offering advanced, tailored solutions to empower our patients to reclaim control over their lives.

Learn More About Our Seizure and Epilepsy Treatment

Treating Seizures & Epilepsy in Alabama

At Haynes Neurosurgical Group, we understand the impact of seizures and epilepsy on the lives of our patients. If you or a loved one is dealing with this condition, we're here to help. 

Our seasoned neurosurgeons use highly advanced technologies and employ a patient-centric ethos at Alabama’s premiere neurosurgical practice.

To schedule a consultation with one of our experts, call us at (205) 787-8676 or request an appointment online. 

Phone: (205) 787-8676
Fax: (205) 785-7944

801 Princeton Avenue, S.W.
P.O.B. I, Suite 310
Birmingham, AL 35211

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