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All about epilepsy seizures types of epilepsy common types of epilepsy types of seizures causes of epilepsy causes of children epilepsy factors triggering epilepsy symptoms of epilepsy diagnosis of epilepsy treatments for epilepsy epilepsy medications epilepsy surgery vagus nerve stimulation epilepsy diet prevention of epilepsy epilepsy in children pregnancy and epilepsy difference between seizures and epilepsy grand mal seizure absence seizure (petit mal seizure) febrile seizure epileptic seizures status epilepticus causes of seizures

What is status epilepticus?

Status epilepticus is a continuous seizure state. It occurs when a person has a continuous epileptic seizure or one seizure followed by another without the person regaining consciousness. It can occur in all types of seizures. Status epilepticus is a serious seizure disorder in which seizures do not stop. A seizure is a sudden disruption of the brain's normal electrical activity, which can cause a loss of consciousness and make the body twitch and jerk. This condition is a

medical emergency.

Seizures are due to a temporary electrical disturbance in the brain. This can affect all areas of the brain or it can spread out from a single area. Status epilepticus occurs when the seizure continues for a long period of time. During this time, the person never regains consciousness. This type of prolonged seizure can result in death if it is not treated right away. Status epilepticus can occur in anyone with epilepsy. It occurs more often in children who have an underlying neurologic disorder or disease.

The characteristic symptom of status epilepticus is seizures occurring so frequently that they appear to be one continuous seizure. These seizures include severe muscle contractions and difficulty breathing. Permanent damage can occur to the brain and heart if treatment is not immediate. Status epilepticus can be convulsive or nonconvulsive. A person's symptoms can range from simply appearing dazed to the more serious muscle contractions, spasms, and loss of consciousness. The specific symptoms depend on the underlying type of seizure. The person may also have high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, irregular heartbeats known as arrhythmias, and high blood sugar levels.

Status epilepticus is most often caused by not taking anticonvulsant medication as prescribed. It can also be caused by an underlying condition, such as meningitis, sepsis, encephalitis, brain tumor, head trauma, extremely high fever, low glucose levels, or exposure to toxins.

Status epilepticus is diagnosed according to its characteristic symptoms. The doctor will order tests to look for the cause of the seizures. These may include blood tests, an electrocardiogram to check for an abnormal heart rhythm; an electroencephalogram (EEG) to check electrical activity in the brain, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scans to check for brain tumors or signs of damage to the brain tissue.

Status epilepticus is a medical emergency. It requires hospital treatment to bring the seizures under control. If your child has had episodes of non-stop seizures that had to be treated in the emergency room, you will want to have a plan of action ready in case they occur again. A person having a seizure should never be restrained. A child with status epilepticus should be taken to the hospital immediately. There, medical personnel will stabilize the child with intravenous (IV) anticonvulsant drugs and fluids. Other medications may be given intravenously to stabilize the child until the seizures stop. The child may need a tube inserted through his or her nose or throat to maintain a good airway for breathing, and he or she may also need to receive oxygen. General anesthesia may be needed if status epilepticus resists treatment. The outlook for recovery in children is better than in adults.

More information on epilepsy (seizures)

What is epilepsy? - Epilepsy is a general term that includes various types of seizures. Epilepsy is characterized by unprovoked, recurring seizures that disrupt the nervous system.
What are seizures? - Seizures (or convulsions) are temporary alterations in brain functions due to abnormal electrical activity of a group of brain cells that present with apparent clinical symptoms and findings.
What types of seizures are there? - The two main categories of seizures include partial seizures and generalized seizures. A partial seizure can evolve to a generalized seizure.
What types of epilepsy are there? - There are several types of epilepsy. Epilepsy can be divided into two broad categories: idiopathic epilepsy and symptomatic epilepsy.
What're the common types of epilepsy? - The most common types of epilepsy are absence epilepsy, temporal lobe epilepsy, frontal lobe epilepsy, occipital lobe epilepsy, and parietal lobe epilepsy.
What causes epilepsy? - Epilepsy may be caused by a number of unrelated conditions, including damage resulting from high fever, stroke, toxicity, or electrolyte imbalances.
What causes children epilepsy? - There are many possible causes of epilepsy in children. Seizures in infants and children may be due to birth defects, difficulties during delivery, or poisoning.
What factors will trigger epilepsy? - The triggers of epilepsy include inadequate sleep, food allergies, alcohol and smoking, flashing lights, developmental anomalies, and brain tumours.
What're the symptoms of epilepsy? - There are many forms of epilepsy, each with its own characteristic symptoms. The basic symptom of epilepsy is a brief and abnormal phase of behavior.
How is epilepsy diagnosed? - Making an accurate diagnosis is vital in planning the correct treatment to control seizures. Taking a medical history can help rule out non-epilepsy conditions.
What're the treatments for epilepsy? - For most people with epilepsy, treatment can reduce or prevent seizures and allow many patients to remain free of seizures for the rest of their lives.
What epilepsy medications are available? - Epilepsy is often treated with medication, neurocybernetic prostheses. Medications available for the treatment of seizures include phenytoin, carbamazepine, divalproex.
What epilepsy surgeries are available? - Surgical techniques to remove injured brain tissue may be appropriate for many patients with epilepsy. The most common surgery for epilepsy is temporal lobectomy.
What is vagus nerve stimulation? - Vagus nerve stimulation is a recently developed form of seizure control which uses an implanted electrical device.
What epilepsy diet is suggested? - It is believe that a restricted caloric intake while on a balanced diet can lead to measurable seizure reduction among all age groups.
How to prevent epilepsy? - Effective actions for the prevention of epilepsy include adequate pre-natal and post-natal care, safe delivery, control of fever in children, control of parasitic diseases.
Epilepsy in children - Epilepsy is a common childhood disorder. The prospect of control by means of anti-epileptic drugs is good in most children with epilepsy.
Pregnancy and epilepsy - Women with epilepsy who become pregnant have a higher risk for complications than women who don't have epilepsy.
Difference between seizures and epilepsy - Seizures are a symptom of epilepsy. Epilepsy is the underlying tendency of the brain to produce a sudden burst of electrical energy.
What's a grand mal seizure? - A grand mal seizure is a seizure involving the entire body, usually characterized by muscle rigidity, violent rhythmic muscle contractions, and loss of consciousness.
What's absence seizure (petit mal seizure)? - Absence seizure e - also known as petit mal seizure - is a type of seizure that most often occurs in children.
What is a febrile seizure? - A febrile seizure is a convulsion in a child triggered by a fever. A febrile seizure may be as mild as the child's eyes rolling or limbs stiffening.
What are epileptic seizures? - An epileptic seizure, often referred to as a fit, occurs when there is an abnormal discharge of neurones in the brain.
What is status epilepticus? - Status epilepticus is a continuous seizure state. Status epilepticus is most often caused by not taking anticonvulsant medication as prescribed.
What causes seizures? - Seizures may be caused by many conditions, diseases, injuries, and other factors. Injuries that may cause seizures include choking, head injury.
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