Epilepsy and Seizures
IntroductionCauses Of Epilepsy
The cause of epilepsy is unknown in most cases, but head injuries are one common cause. A serious blow to the head can injure brain cells. If brain cells temporarily shut down, or if electrical activity between them is interrupted, a concussion may occur. A concussion is a serious brain injury resulting from a violent blow. It can cause memory loss, dizziness, numbness, headache, disorientation, slurred speech, or unusual behavior. A concussion does not necessarily involve loss of consciousness. Concussions can sometimes cause seizures.
In some cases, if a newborn does not get enough oxygen during birth, the delicate electrical system in the brain may be damaged, leading to seizures. Other causes of seizures include brain tumors, genetic conditions, lead poisoning, problems in brain development before birth, and infections that affect the brain, such as meningitis and encephalitis.
Jon, fifteen, gets poor grades, and his progress reports always say that he is “capable of doing better.” He eats well, gets enough sleep and exer cise, and gets along fairly well with his family.
Sometimes Jon's teacher asks him a question and he just stares into space. The teacher thinks Jon isn't paying attention. When he finally responds, Jon says he didn't hear the question. Jon is having a seizure each time this happens, but no one knows it, not even Jon himself.
One day, Oliver, a senior, was going down the stairs at school when he saw Beth lying on the land ing. She was very stiff and her eyes had rolled back up into her head. Soon her whole body started shaking. Then after a minute or two, she looked like she had fallen asleep. There was saliva trickling from her mouth. Beth had just had a seizure.