Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that occurs when a brain generates abnormal electrical discharges affecting ones mental faculties and physical functioning. In order to understand the concept of epilepsy, it is better to first understand how the brain functions by relying on electrical impulses that are transmitted from neurons to neurons. A seizure occurs when some neurons misfire and produce a chaotic electrical surge that spreads in the brain. Another potential cause of seizure is the disruption in neuronal activity, which could be caused by abnormal brain growth, or illness. Majority of people may experience a one-off seizure at certain point in their lives, though this does not denote epilepsy. The occurrence of such seizures in a person’s life, can only take place if the said person is a diabetic or has a heart condition. Any person who has experienced two or more unprovoked seizures during their lifetime is said to have epilepsy.
Seizures that Trigger Epilepsy
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According to the research on epilepsy, one out of every twenty individuals,and, approximately, 1% of the world’s population, will experience a seizure during their lifetime (Neligan & Shorvon, 2011). The two known types of seizures include generalized and partial. A partial seizure is the one in which there is an electrical disruption in a specified location of a single side of the brain, whereby consciousness may or may not be lost. A partial seizure has the possibility of starting out focal and remaining focal; however, the same seizure could start focal and then endup local. Another seizure, a Jacksonian seizure, is the one when an attack affects a singular side of the body and spreads to the rest. A generalized seizure affects both sides of the brain, where electrical activity, as well as firing, tend to engulf the whole brain.
Occurrence/ Incidence of Epilepsy
According to Chin, Neville & Scott (2013), there are more than 1.8 million Americans who suffer from epilepsy. Active epilepsy is the one that has received treatment of antiepileptic drugs during the period of five years. Epilepsy has a prevalence of 0.65%, which implies that 6.5 out of 1000 individuals have epilepsy. Another research indicates that men tend to have epilepsy more often than women. New cases of epilepsy are common among children. The highest incidence of epilepsy normally occurs during the first six years of a person’s life. Epilepsy incidence decreases slowly during the first twenty years of a person’s life, where it remains stable up to the age of 50-55. It is within the age bracket of 50-55 that there is an increase connected to brain tumors, stroke, or Alzheimer’s disease. By the age of 80, the accumulative incidence of epilepsy will be ranging between 1.1% to 3.3%. This phenomenon shows that if an individual lived to an age of 80, there is a 1.1% to 3.3% chance that he/ she will experience active epilepsy at some point (Chin, Nerville & Scott, 2013).
Nursing Practice & Care Plan for Epileptics
The prime objective of care is to lessen the effect of seizure disorders on patients with developmental disabiliities. Team members tasked with the mandate of providing care should cooperate with the patient, in a bid to set up optimized levels of seizure control. In this regard, the medical consultant or primary care prescriber is the person with the responsibility to diagnose a seizure, categorize the type of seizure and order the right treatment. Seizures are usually categorized in accordance to International Classification System of Epileptic Seizures. This body deals with optimal seizure management and selection of proper anticonvulsant. Sometimes, it can be difficult to determine appropriate classification and diagnosis of seizure disorders due to the problem of insufficient or absent history, confusing clinical presentation, and communication deficits. The primary care prescriber relies on observers’ description of seizures, while making a dependable diagnosis. For effective seizure management, it is advisable to consider accurate descriptions of seizure activity, coupled with the right system of recording and reporting the seizure activity. Epileptic patients must be protected from further spread of the disease.
Epilepsy is a disease that affects persons of all ethnic backgrounds, races, and ages. It is important to note that epilepsy can develop at any age. The majority of individuals with epilepsy can still be able to live normal lives, though with few restrictions on their activities. Women suffering from epilepsy should attempt consulting their physicians before conceiving to ensure their medication can be adjusted. Majority of babies born to women suffering from epilepsy have been proven healthy.
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