Last Updated on October 21, 2020
Epilepsy is not in any way a singular noun, it is used to refer to a group of neurological disorders that are majorly characterized by epileptic seizures caused by excessive and abnormal nerve cell activity in the brain(cortex).
A seizure may be clearly recognized through vigorous shaking of the body, nonetheless, there are some seizures that may not be clearly detected and are quite strong and quiet.
Each seizure originates from a particular part of the brain. The seizures may lead to direct and indirect physical injuries to the body and one thing to note is that they occur as a rule, in that it is a must for an epileptical person and have no direct cause.
Whereas scientists have tried to explain the causes of epilepsy, a significant number falls on the unknown side. Causes may be genetic or acquired. Some explanations, for example, stroke, brain injuries, and tumors, birth defects, infections of the brain have been noted to cause epilepsy also known as a seizure disorder.
How do we treat epilepsy? Doctors have tried medical ways including surgery and neurostimulation and in other cases, dietary changes have seemed to show promise.
According to a research, only 70% of epilepsy cases are controllable.
Signs and symptoms of epilepsy include: the seizure, a period of confusion just after the seizure known as postictal, psychological effects may arise due to stigmatization and the person becomes psychosocial.
Epilepsy types are differentiated in types of seizures experienced. Let us have a look at the different types of epilepsy that occur in man.
Types of Epilepsy
1. Idiopathic Generalized Epilepsy
In the generalized type of epilepsy, the seizures are seen to originate from both parts of the brain. Also termed to as the IGE. This kind of epilepsy is believed to be genetic in that it can be passed from parents unto the child.
Herein there are no major brain abnormalities and the patient is normal. Not all cases of the idiopathic generalized epilepsy are inherited.
2. Idiopathic Partial Epilepsy
In the partial type of epilepsy, there is a localized origin of the seizure and may not necessarily affect the brain as a whole.
3. Symptomatic Generalized Epilepsy
Also known as the SGE and is characterized by three major features including multiple seizure types that include atonic and tonic seizures, there is a dysfunction of the brain seen as a slow development and retarded, and lastly there is a high abnormality activity.
4. Symptomatic Partial Epilepsy
In this kind of epilepsy, the seizure may be mild. Mild that the person experiencing the seizure may stay awake during the seizure episode. The seizure may occur as a strange taste or smell or confusion, the limbs may stiffen and eyes may blink rapidly also.
5. Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
Herein the main focus of the seizure caused by the epilepsy condition is on the temporal lobe of the brain. The attack may take as few as two to three minutes. The seizures are completely focal.
6. Neocortical Epilepsy
In neocortical epilepsy, the seizures envelope or originate from the neocortex part of the brain majorly on the external surface layer of the brain. The origin of the seizure may otherwise be undefined unlike in the other types of epilepsy.
7. Benign Rolandic Epilepsy
In the benign Rolandic epilepsy, the seizure type involves numbness of the face and tingling of the tongue or the two. It may last for over two minutes.
It also occurs from the Rolandic part of the brain that is known to control movement. The benign Rolandic epilepsy is uncommon among adults and is mostly experienced at the age of 6-8 and 11-13.
8. Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy
This is a common form of the idiopathic generalized epilepsy. The juvenile myoclonic epilepsy is seen to manifest itself as from the ages of 12-18 years of age. Most patients herein will experience generalized seizures affecting both parts of the brain.
9. Frontal Lobe Epilepsy
In the frontal lobe epilepsy, the seizures are recurring and are brief. They commonly originate from the frontal lobes of the brain and in most cases the patient is asleep. It is the most common type of epilepsy across the globe. Following in second is the temporal lobe epilepsy.
The seizures herein have a chance of either occurring as partial seizures not affecting awareness or memory or as complex seizures that will affect memory and awareness of the patient in question.
For the frontal lobe epilepsy, it may be hard to detect the seizure since the frontal lobe functions to control few and unrecognized functions of the brain. The patient may adapt abnormal postures on the onset of the seizure and also may laugh or even cry uncontrollably during the seizure.
10. Parietal Lobe Epilepsy
In the parietal lobe epilepsy, it is very difficult to diagnose or recognize due to the type of seizure occurring. The type of seizure involved herein is related to disorientation, hallucinations in visual contents, visual illusions may occur and it is very hard for a secondary person to notice this especially when it occurs among children since they cannot tell the difference.
There may also be an episode of language impairment and rotatory body movements.
11. Occipital Lobe Epilepsy
The occipital lobe kind of epilepsy is very rare and its cases are few and slightly predominant in the males. Herein the patient may experience elementary visual hallucinations, blindness, and blurred vision may occur.
The eyes may deviate as well as the head, the eyelids may flutter rapidly. The seizures may be triggered by flickering lights with minimal photic patterns.
12. Neonatal Epilepsy
The neonatal kind of epilepsy occurs at a very crucial stage in that the patient is very vulnerable to experiencing seizures. The seizures herein are usually repetitive and stereotyped events.
There are 5 types of neonatal epilepsy including: subtle occurring at a 50% chance, tonic occurring at a 5% chance, clonic occurring at a 25% chance, myoclonic occurring at a 20% chance and nonparoxysmal repetitive behaviors.