Myths about the disease

Myth 1. Epilepsy - is a mental illness that should be treated by psychiatrists

Actually. 20-30 years ago the treatment of epilepsy, and indeed was considered the prerogative of psychiatrists, but thanks to the efforts of the Society of Neurologists became neurology area. What, according to leading epileptologa (professionals involved in the treatment of this disease), it is fully justified: the origin of the disease (especially in adults) is closely related to stroke, tumors, cerebrovascular lesions, traumatic brain injury, tick-borne encephalitis, metabolic disorders ( uremia, liver failure, hypoglycemia) and so on...

There are three forms of epilepsy - symptomatic (in which the patient is found structural brain defect), idiopathic (when there are no such changes, but there is a genetic predisposition to the disease), and cryptogenic (when the cause is not possible to identify the disease).

Myth 2. Epilepsy is always accompanied by seizures

Actually. To date, there are about 40 different forms of epilepsy and various types of attacks, including a considerable proportion of non-convulsive (the so-called absence seizures). Most often they occur in childhood and early adolescence. In this case the patient dies suddenly, his eyes glaze over, can be seen shaking eyelids, light throwing the head back. As a rule, such attacks only last for 5-20 seconds and often go unnoticed.

You can not say about the form of convulsive seizures, the approach which patients often feel a few hours or even days, experiencing general discomfort, anxiety, irritability, sweating, feeling cold or heat. In severe cases of the disease in humans can be up to 100 seizures a day, but can - once a year or once in a lifetime. In some patients attacks occur only at night, in a dream.

Myth 3. Epilepsy necessarily inherited

Actually. Most forms of the disease are not hereditary. The risk of a sick child birth if one parent is sick of epilepsy, is not more than 8%.

Myth 4. Epilepsy - adult disease

Actually. In 70% of patients epilepsy debut in childhood and adolescence. The incidence rate among children up to 7 deaths per 1000. At that infants most often its cause is oxygen starvation during pregnancy (hypoxia), as well as congenital malformations of brain development, intrauterine infections (toxoplasmosis, salivary gland disease, rubella, herpes, etc.), at least - a birth trauma.

The second peak incidence of epilepsy falls on elderly age, as a result of a number of neurological diseases. First of all - stroke.

Myth 5. The attack provokes epilepsy emotional stress

Actually. Not always. Provoke epileptic seizure can intake of alcohol, intoxication and even overheating in the sun, especially if a person suffers fotozavisimoy form of the disease. Approximately 50% of patients in this group attacks only occur when watching TV (especially the light show), flashing of the monitor screen (during computer games), contemplation of color music in discos, riding a bicycle along the linear planted trees, flashing of headlights passing traffic (while riding in car).

A major precipitating factor for the occurrence of seizures is considered to be a violation of sleep - after falling asleep, forced wakefulness at night (due to night shift or "parties"), or too early, violent awakening. Unsettle the patient with epilepsy may also travel with the change of time zones more than two hours. Such people are contraindicated.

Myth 6. Epilepsy incurable

Actually. Previously, epilepsy, and indeed it was considered an incurable disease, but with the development of neuropharmacology in most patients hope. In 60-70% of cases of anticonvulsant drugs that you need to take many years, and sometimes - life, allow patients to lead a normal life: to learn, to get higher education, and women - to give birth to healthy children. In some patients, particularly in children, epilepsy can fade with age.

The success of treatment depends on correct diagnosis and accurate treatment. Preference is given to monotherapy (treatment with one anti-epileptic drugs). However, there are forms of epilepsy, poorly treatable, so-called resistant forms. In these cases, patients received 2 or 3 drugs, and if necessary - surgery on pathological brain area.