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EPILEPSY


Falling sickness is a commonly known name for epilepsy, which also describes the main sign, which is fainting. However, careful research of this disease has revealed that there is also epilepsy in which the patient does not fall. Padavica has been known since time immemorial. It has always been considered a serious illness. More than a thousand years ago, in ancient Greece, it was considered an honor to have this disease. They called her a “sacred disease,” morbus sacer, in the belief that such a person is gifted by the gods, that he has mental abilities that other people do not have. There have been several famous people in the history of mankind who have suffered from epilepsy.

Epilepsy is a disease of a part of the brain. Excessive irritation of the cerebral cortex causes loss of consciousness and cramps in the body. Various causes can bring the cerebral cortex into such a state, so epilepsy is not a diagnosis of the disease but only one of its signs. Seizures can be caused by brain tumors, inflammation in the brain and meninges, poisoning, head injuries and the consequences of those injuries. It is very important to determine the cause of symptomatic epilepsy because treatment is determined accordingly. Unfortunately, today we still cannot clarify the causes of each individual form of epilepsy. That is why there is a large group of genuine epilepsies whose causes we only partially know.

If there are patients with epilepsy in the family, it is more likely that there will be such patients in the next generation. But it can happen that a healthy child is born even though both father and mother suffer from the disease. We don’t know the rule by which epilepsy is inherited, so it’s hard to give advice to parents. How complex this is is shown by the case of a patient whose father had epilepsy. When he also contracted the same disease, it was established that the cause was not heredity, but a head injury during a difficult birth. Non-experts often consider epilepsy to be a disease that comes only in seizures. Unfortunately, this is not the case. In a very large number of patients there are changes in character and behavior. Severe epileptics are usually mentally slow, speak slowly and extensively, stick to one topic to the point that it is difficult to talk to them and listen to them. Due to their slowness and mental inelasticity, they interfere with the environment in which they work or live.


Another characteristic of epileptics is irritability, they are very sensitive and easily offended. Irritability may occur intermittently or permanently. In such states of tension, trifles are enough to react sharply or to physically settle accounts, they can become grumpy, vindictive and uncomfortable. There has been great progress in assessing epilepsy in this century. The discovery of the electroencephalograph apparatus made it possible to record the body's electrical waves in the brain. The procedure is called electroencephalography or EEG for short. This test does not hurt and is not uncomfortable, it is similar to electrocardiography (ECG), a test that records the work of the heart. In both cases, metal plates are placed as intermediaries between the body and a special device that records electrical voltage and the work of organs. In the ECG, the plates are placed in the area of ​​the heart, arms and legs, in the EEG in the form of a special cap on the head. Studies have found that there are epileptic waves in diseases that have not been linked to epilepsy. These are special types of headaches, behavioral disorders or some other conditions.

In the attack, the patient turns pale, his mouth foams, he falls to the ground, his teeth gnash, and if a tongue is found between them, he can bite it. The patient is deeply unconscious and does not feel any pain. The twitches of the body and limbs are more or less rhythmic and gradually cease. The mouth is blue, the patient breathes intermittently. Such an attack can last from half a minute to several minutes. After that, the patient gradually wakes up. After the attack he feels exhausted, weak, exhausted. Sometimes he falls asleep with a hard sleep that lasts a short or a few hours. Only after that does he feel normally fresh. A big attack comes suddenly. It can come in the waking state, in a dream, in all possible circumstances. Because this happens abruptly, the patient can be seriously injured if he falls on the stove, under the car, under the machine. It can also be fatal. Patients feel a fear that is not without foundation. Although the attack itself never leads to death, other circumstances can cause a tragic end.

The intervals between individual seizures can be very short, so multiple seizures can occur in one day. At the other extreme, seizures can occur every few weeks or years, they can come at regular or irregular intervals, they can always occur suddenly. If they line up so fast that the patient does not regain consciousness between individual seizures, we are talking about status epilepticus. Such a patient must go to the hospital urgently because there is a serious danger that successive seizures will lead to exhaustion and death. Major seizures are a common form of epilepsy, but there are other diseases that can cause similar conditions. There are equally dramatic seizures with reduced consciousness in hysteria. However, a hysterical attack does not come in a dream, it usually occurs in the presence of one or more people, limb cramps are not rhythmic, and movements are accompanied by speaking or shouting, the patient seems to be experiencing a scene.


The patient must know the treatment procedures because his cooperation is necessary. The most important thing is to take the medication constantly. The deceptive feeling that the disease disappears between attacks can lead to treatment interruption and worsening. Abrupt discontinuation of medication can lead to worsening of the disease. The patient often blames the drug, but has no right because he did not follow the doctor’s advice. Symptomatic epilepsy is treated by removing the cause. If epileptic seizures begin to occur in alcoholics, then the treatment of alcoholism will reduce or completely eliminate the number of these seizures. If it is the result of an injury or a head tumor, surgery will lead to a cure. Unfortunately, this cannot be achieved in every single case, so in addition to causal treatment, treatment with anti-seizure drugs is also required. Genuine epilepsy is a disease for which general regulations do not apply. Long-term collaboration between physician and patient is required to find the best cure. Only after a few weeks and even months can it be determined which drug and in what quantity is the most suitable for the treatment of an individual patient. Even in dormant conditions, patients need to see a doctor for a head scan, control, and advice. Treatment is always long-lasting, sometimes for life. The disease can be completely eliminated only in rare cases. In the folk treatment of epilepsy, herbal extracts are used, some of which also contain good ingredients.