5 naive questions about epilepsy. Neurologist answers

Are epilepsy and genius related, does epilepsy happen without foaming at the mouth, is it possible to die after a seizure – and other naive questions about this serious illness.

naive questions about epilepsy. Neurologist answers

1. Does epilepsy always mean seizures with foam at the mouth?  

No, there are many types of epileptic seizures, some of them occur without loss of consciousness and are accompanied by only minimal short-term visual, olfactory, auditory, sensory or motor disturbances. 

Some manifest themselves only as short-term fading, which may not even be noticed.

A “classic” seizure does not always develop. 

2. Can a person die from an epileptic attack? 

Unfortunately, there is such a possibility, but not from the attack itself.

The cause may be a head injury that a person receives from a fall; aspiration (in other words, choking) with vomit or saliva, if the patient was not turned on his side and safety was not ensured.

Death can also occur from objects entering the respiratory tract that others use to open the patient’s jaws during an attack (metal spoons/forks), or from teeth that are damaged during such manipulations.

3. Can a person get up and walk after a seizure as if nothing had happened?

After a full-blown convulsive attack, a person often falls asleep, and when he wakes up, he does not remember what happened to him, does not understand where he is, and can move on.

With some types of epileptic seizures, a person may continue talking or performing actions as if nothing had happened.

4. Many epileptics are geniuses (Julius Caesar, Vincent Van Gogh, Gustave Flaubert, Fyodor Dostoevsky and others). Is this a pattern or a coincidence?

The connection between epilepsy and genius has not been proven in any way; moreover, many cases are based on eyewitness accounts and are not confirmed by medical records.

It has been established that the seizures that are described in some iconic personalities are not caused by epilepsy at all, but by other reasons.

5. Is epilepsy for life or can it be cured?

Some types of epilepsy are characteristic of childhood and adolescence and may disappear completely over time. 

In most cases, with properly selected treatment, attacks do not occur, and after 5 years, therapy can be discontinued. In this case we are talking about remission. However, if doctors’ recommendations are not followed, there is a possibility of attacks returning.

by Abdullah Sam
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