Dispelling some common myths about seizures

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posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 04:33 PM
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After reading many of the replies on this thread and some others, I felt compelled to debunk some of the common myths and misconceptions about seizures and epilepsy. If you’ve read some of my posts, you may know that my son suffers from epilepsy, which he’s had for most of his life. It’s a many-faceted, fascinating and often, terrible disorder that can be a minor nuisance or rob a person of his ability to function “normally.”

Let’s look at a few common myths:

Myth #1: Seizures always look the same. This is a major misconception. There are so many comments that say, “I’ve seen a seizure before and it looks like so and so.” The fact is, there are many different types of seizures, some with loss of consciousness; some without.

The most commonly-known type of seizure is the dramatic tonic-clonic (formerly called “grand mal”) seizure that typically begins with a stiffening of the body’s muscles, sometimes accompanied by a loud yell or shriek or the patient turning blue, followed by a period of convulsing or jerking, and ending in either unconsciousness or a slow return to consciousness.

Other seizure types, which are categorized as primary (beginning with a widespread electrical discharge across both halves of the brain) or partial (originating in part of the brain) include:

Absence. The patient typically remains conscious but “blanks out” or stares for




posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 04:59 PM
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It has indeed increased my knowlege of this subject, and I thank you for posting this. This thread is a most needed public service.

I have known a couple of folks with this condition .However I have never witnessed a seizure. The people I know seen to be well controlled with their meds and seem to be as normal as anyone else.

I had no idea that there were so many types of seizure.



posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 05:01 PM
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reply to post by graceunderpressure
 


Great thread.





Myth #4: Seizures are always the result of a head injury. This is sometimes, but not always true. Neurologists (and others) use the term, cryptogenic, as a way to say they have absolutely no idea what caused them. It’s yet to be proven that the seizures themselves are hereditary; however, the genetic predisposition to them is generally accepted as fact. Unfortunately, anyone can wake up on any day and have them. '


I had a skull fracture and had problems like this.
The doctors had no idea what caused them after my cat scan.
My mother has never had one so saying it is hereditary seems false to me.

I changed my diet and layed off all the things I loved to eat for a few years and it went away.



posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 07:48 PM
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reply to post by lonegurkha
 


Thank you, Lonegurkha. It's not exactly a happy subject, nor one that typically interests people who aren't in some way touched by it. I appreciate your interest!



posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 07:59 PM
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Originally posted by DrumsRfun
reply to post by graceunderpressure
 

I had a skull fracture and had problems like this.
The doctors had no idea what caused them after my cat scan.
My mother has never had one so saying it is hereditary seems false to me.

I changed my diet and layed off all the things I loved to eat for a few years and it went away.


I've heard of people eliminating seizures through nutrition, and I'm so glad it worked for you. I think my son's seizures may be more severe -- at any rate, we laid off all processed foods and ate raw/organic for three years but it didn't help him.

As for being hereditary, it wouldn't necessary pass from parent to child. For instance, I've never had any seizures (knock on wood, I hope that continues); however, my sister and niece have had them. The Stanford School of Medicine website says the following about genetic predisposition:



Epilepsy can be caused by genetic factors or acquired, although in most cases it arises in part from both.

While genes determine the structure of our body, they also control the excitability of our brain cells.

The general population has about a 1% risk of developing epilepsy. Meanwhile, children of mothers with epilepsy have a 3 to 9% risk, while children of fathers have a 1.5 to 3% risk.


I hope that you continue to do well and enjoy your good health!

Grace



posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 08:20 PM
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reply to post by graceunderpressure
 



I'm always interested in expanding my knowlege, and this subject is one I didn't know much about. Thank you so much for sharing. I hope that your son doesn't suffer too much with it.God bless him.



posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 08:59 PM
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Thank you for such a very informative post. I knew that all seizures were not alike but did not know how many types there were.

I'm no doctor but a genetic factor seems probable based on my own personal experiences. I have 3 nephews between 2 sisters who have seizures. The oldest and my youngest sisters first child had from birth what at first diagnosed as febreal (sp?) seizures, but over time was re categorized as what we commonly consider Grand Mal Seizures. My next younger sister has two sons that have seizures, but their seizure related symptoms are totally different from one another or even their older cousin. The older of the two exhibits symptoms that might be categorized as a "complex partial" based on your information, I know when he was 8 he actually pulled the door off of a school bus during one of them. The younger exhibits symptoms that are most likely categorized as "absent", once you know that he has seizures it's very easy to notice because he literally just goes blank, stares off into space, if he's standing he'll remain standing, but he will be totally unresponsive, and then all of a sudden he's back again. Of those the prognosis is not good for the youngest ever being able to live a "normal" life, his seizures are surprisingly frequent, even after surgical intervention....I believe they inserted something into his brain to help control them but I could be wrong and cannot reach her right now to clarify.

Thank you again for your informative post S&F for you



posted on Sep, 13 2012 @ 10:06 AM
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reply to post by graceunderpressure
 


You are SO right about medications working for some but not for all. My husband has never has anymore seizures since he found the right type and dosage of medication for him, but my kids ex-roomate hasn't been as fortunate. They have tried every type, combination and dosage imaginable (almost to the point of killing him) and NOTHING has helped in any way- and with some medications actually made his seizures worse and more frequent. I feel for him as he is a new father and cannot be left alone with his own child. It's so sad!

I don't know if it makes any difference, but my husband's epilepsy (which is WELL controlled with medication, diet and rest) is hereditary while my kid's ex-roomate's epilepsy is due to head injury when he was hit by a car while crossing the street (which cannot be controlled through medication, diet and rest). I wonder if this somehow makes a difference.



posted on Sep, 13 2012 @ 10:41 AM
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I have a brain tumour, which I am currently undergoing chemo for. I have been having number of seizures recently that are extremely hard to describe.

Basically, I sart to get a sensation in my thumb on my left hand. It goes cold and numb, then I get a hot flush sensation that sweeps through my body. Then I just feel really tired, I have to lie down in a dark room. It is not obvious to anyone, when it is happening and I have to inform those around me that something is happening. it also has a hangover that lasts for about two days, where the tip of my tongue and my front teeth have a numb feel. Which is how I feel now.

I don' t know what type of seizure it could be classified as, but would be interested to know as it didn't really match any of the descriptions in the op.



posted on Sep, 13 2012 @ 10:49 AM
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reply to post by graceunderpressure
 


Excellent thread! Thank you so much for this. Very helpful.



posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 12:39 PM
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Originally posted by Pixiefyre
The older of the two exhibits symptoms that might be categorized as a "complex partial" based on your information, I know when he was 8 he actually pulled the door off of a school bus during one of them.


Thank you, Pixiefyre. I wonder sometimes, how many accidents and other things are really caused by undetected complex partial seizures. Here's the link with a more complete description of this type, if you're interested.

I'm sorry to hear that your family members are dealing with this. It affects everyone around them, too. I always found it a blessing that my son doesn't remember 90% of his seizures. He has enough to deal with in the after-effects. Hopefully, the same is true for your family members. I wish all of you well.

p.s. I have always loved your avatar. Makes you just want to reach out and pet "serious cat."



posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 12:47 PM
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Originally posted by littled16
reply to post by graceunderpressure
 

My husband has never has anymore seizures since he found the right type and dosage of medication for him, but my kids ex-roomate hasn't been as fortunate. They have tried every type, combination and dosage imaginable (almost to the point of killing him) and NOTHING has helped in any way- and with some medications actually made his seizures worse and more frequent.

I don't know if it makes any difference, but my husband's epilepsy (which is WELL controlled with medication, diet and rest) is hereditary while my kid's ex-roomate's epilepsy is due to head injury when he was hit by a car while crossing the street (which cannot be controlled through medication, diet and rest). I wonder if this somehow makes a difference.


Your kid's ex-roommate's experience sounds like my son's. One day, a prominent neurologist actually admitted to me, "With this variety, we just throw everything but the kitchen sink at it and hope for the best."

It's an interesting point that you raise about the hereditary seizures possibly being more easily controlled with meds. In the other patient, if there's brain injury from the trauma, it really makes sense that the seizures would be harder to control. But, you never know. My son fell and hit his forehead as a baby, and his seizures didn't begin until years later in second grade. Cause and effect? I've often wondered.

At least, I'm glad that your husband's seizures are controlled. My sister's finally are, as well. After many years, she got her driver's license back. (The thought of her driving still scares me, though.)



posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 12:59 PM
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Thanks for shedding some light on this. I started having seizures when I was about 14. They tried lots of drugs on me, and when Depakote was approved, I started on that and it worked like a charm. I spent most of high school in a drug induced haze trying diffrent perscriptions to control my grand mal and petit mal seizures.

I've been on Depakote for about 33 years now. I took fice 250mg pills aday for many years. Then I started tapering down. My last seizure was at the age of 27. I'm down to 2 pills one day, thenone the next, then 2... Next it will be one a day for probably 3 months. Thenone every other day. I'm taking it real slow...

Diet helped me I think. I eat LOTS of fat. Coconut oil, salmon, whole raw milk, butter, grassfed beef... yummmm. Back in the day before meds, seizures were treated with ketogenic (very high fat) diets. The brain runs quite haapily on ketones instead of sugar. The only part of the brain that needs glucose is the mid brain. And it doesn't need much.

And since eating fat doesn't make you fat, and has nothing to do with serum cholesterol, I'm thin and have normal labs. Soon I'll beoff the meds. That'll be a happy day indeed.



posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 01:01 PM
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reply to post by graceunderpressure
 


youre a nursing student, aren't you? we just covered seizures yesterday, and i swear you must be in my class..those myths were about 1/3 of the notes we took on seizures.



posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 01:18 PM
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reply to post by graceunderpressure
 


Thank you for the link and yeah I kinda like serious cat too.....balances things out when I become a bit too serious


I like yours also is that a loris?



posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 05:23 PM
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Originally posted by woodwardjnr
I have a brain tumour, which I am currently undergoing chemo for. I have been having number of seizures recently that are extremely hard to describe.

Basically, I sart to get a sensation in my thumb on my left hand. It goes cold and numb, then I get a hot flush sensation that sweeps through my body. Then I just feel really tired, I have to lie down in a dark room. It is not obvious to anyone, when it is happening and I have to inform those around me that something is happening. it also has a hangover that lasts for about two days, where the tip of my tongue and my front teeth have a numb feel. Which is how I feel now.

I don' t know what type of seizure it could be classified as, but would be interested to know as it didn't really match any of the descriptions in the op.


Oh, woodward, I'm sorry to hear about your tumor and the chemo. Hang tough! "This, too, shall pass."

Thank you so much for your seizure description. I am always interested in hearing what it feels like, especially since my son doesn't remember most of his, and has difficulty describing the others.

Disclaimer: Before anyone jumps on me, this is not an attempted diagnosis; just sharing some information and letting people draw their own conclusions.

When I read your account, it sounded very similar to the epilepsy.com description of a simple partial sensory seizure:



People with sensory seizures may smell or taste things that aren't there; hear clicking, ringing, or a person's voice when there is no actual sound; or feel a sensation of "pins and needles" or numbness. Seizures may even be painful for some patients. They may feel as if they are floating or spinning in space.


Whatever kind they may be, thank you for sharing and I hope they subside. Please let us know how you're doing, OK?



posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 05:35 PM
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reply to post by graceunderpressure
 


Good informative post for many. And you are spot on with your information.

I have dealt with seizures most my adult life, its been off and on, when they hit, they hit hard and fast.
You get use to it after a while, and its not that big of a deal. Just a pain.

I think for me the worst part of a seizure is the massive migraine afterwards.

I spent thousands on test only for them to tell me "well, we dont know but we can run these tests"
i gave up and decided to just live with it. Could be worse.

use to take meds, but got tired of the side effects and gave up. At least the seizure is natural, well kind of.



posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 05:51 PM
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I'm sorry to hear your son has a problem with seizures. I know a little what it's like. Watch the meds for it, I'm allergic to all of them. It would be so much easier to take a pill than using diet to control it.



posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 05:53 PM
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reply to post by davjan4
 


Now, that's the kind of story that I like to hear -- one with a happy ending! It's so wonderful that Depakote did the trick for you and you'll soon be off the meds.

I agree with you about the efficacy of fats in the diet. We considered the Ketogenic diet (which was still prescribed ten years ago -- not sure about now). One of its most compelling aspects was that many patients actually eventually "cured" their epilepsy by following the Keto diet. Unfortunately for us, my son just didn't have the discipline to stick to any diet and, with this one, if you deviate it's "hello seizures." So, it was too big a risk.

Enjoy your soon to be pill-free, seizure-free life.



posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 06:01 PM
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reply to post by riffraff
 


Riffraff, no, I'm not a nursing student; just a mom who loves her son trying--for 20 years now--to fix the one problem that I couldn't solve for him. It sounds like you are, though? Then, please allow me to thank you on behalf of all the people that you will one day help. One of the things I learned, early on, from countless hospital, clinic, and ER trips was that if you really need help or want to know the answer to something -- ask a nurse! Good for you for choosing such a noble profession.

As for the myths, it doesn't surprise me that there are so many of them. What a strange disorder this is! I'm glad that at least our society has advanced past locking epilepsy patients away in the cellar, like they did a hundred years ago.





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