Epilepsy is a condition that causes sufferers to have repeated episodes of seizures, or disturbed brain activity, over a certain period of time. These seizures are the result of changes in the brain that periodically transmit repetitive, abnormal signals. Although patients suffering from epilepsy can experience seizure symptoms a little differently, many will have decreases in alertness, convulsions, or staring spells as a part of their epileptic seizures.
Are you at risk for epilepsy? Although the condition typically arises from the ages of four to 20, there are ways that adults can develop the condition. Below are some of the most common causes of epilepsy in adults.
- Transient ischemic attack (TIA), also known as stroke
- Traumatic injury to the brain
- Brain tumor
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Bacterial or viral infections that can affect the brain, including meningitis and AIDS
Each of these conditions can potentially lead to permanent alterations in brain tissue structure and function. In children and infants, risk for epilepsy increases if there is a family history of it, and can be caused by brain malformations, lack of oxygen during delivery or birth, maternal drug use, and a variety of other factors.
Depending on the underlying cause of epilepsy, treatment may involve medications or surgery. Lifestyle changes, such as improving sleep, reducing stress, and avoiding alcohol and drug use, can help to reduce the frequency of seizures. Some forms of epilepsy improve with time, while others require lifelong treatment to prevent symptoms.
At Menorah Medical Center, our epilepsy care team offers the patients of the Overland Park community comprehensive evaluation and treatment options for the treatment of epilepsy in adults and children. In fact, our Epilepsy Center is recognized by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers are a center of excellence. For more information about the services we offer, call us today at (913) 498-6000. Consultations are available with our physicians, counselors, and social workers.