What Causes Seizures in Adults

By on January 31, 2020

It is a very scary reality, watching your loved one experience a seizure. Many women over 50 who have watched helplessly as their family members or friend suffer from their various types of seizures. Not knowing the cause of the seizure can add to the concern and worry. If your loved one has had an epilepsy diagnosis, you can be more prepared for the episode, however, if they have experienced their first epileptic seizure as an adult, you may have many questions.

Our bodies are complex organisms that function in general really well. When something like a seizure happens, we are reminded of our frailty. Seeing a Neurologist near you is the first step to understanding what is going on, but here are some questions that you will want to ask them?

What is a seizure?

The brain contains billions of neurons (nerve cells) that create and receive electrical impulses. Electrical impulses allow neurons to communicate with one another. During a seizure, there is abnormal and excessive electrical activity in the brain. This can cause changes in awareness, behavior, and/or abnormal movements. This activity usually lasts only a few seconds to minutes.

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Do all seizure patients have epilepsy?

Epilepsy refers to a condition in which a person has a risk of recurring epileptic seizures. Seizures may be caused by conditions other than brain activity. Low blood sugar, a fainting spell, or an anxiety attack can bring on a seizure. So not all people that have a seizure will be diagnosed as being epileptic.

What caused the seizure?

This may not be a simple answer? Depending on the circumstances of your seizure, your age, and your individual situation, your healthcare provider may order one or more tests. The two common tests are lumbar puncture and blood tests. If you do not carry an epileptic diagnosis, the healthcare provider is looking to rule out infection and check for markers in the blood that could point to the type of seizure.

You may also be looking to have an EEG (Electroencephalography) to check for abnormal electrical activity in the brain. An MRI or CT scan or brain imagery can check for tumors, strokes, or other structural problems in the brain. These tests are more thorough and will give your neurologist a clear picture of what is going on.

Explanation of the seizure

The healthcare provider will want to know a detailed description of the episode, including whether you lost consciousness, stared blankly, or twitched and jerked violently. Having yourself or another witness of the seizure attend the appointment with the healthcare provider, will aid the diagnosis process. Many times those experiencing a seizure are not aware of their actions.

Should I see a Neurologist?

Many health insurance companies require a referral for them to cover the costs of seeing a neurologist. Your first point of contact is your general practitioner. They will be needed for the referral and can start some of the testings, but you should be looking to get at least 2 referrals. A doctor’s diagnosis as an opinion, and interpretation of the various symptoms, so be sure to seek the diagnosis from multiple experts.

Are there medications for seizures

The healthcare provider may recommend an antiseizure medication after a single seizure if you are at high risk of having a second seizure or if you are at high risk of injury related to the seizure. You may need to take one or more antiseizure medications, sometimes referred to as anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drugs. Healthcare providers may not recommend starting these drugs until you have had at least two seizures, in part to make sure that the first seizure was not an isolated incident. 

Taking any medication will come with side effects. If you are weary of this, speak to your health provider about holistic options before committing to a specific treatment plan.

Seizures can be alarming, especially if you haven’t previously experienced one. If you or a loved one has suffered from a seizure or set of seizures, it is time to consider looking into a full treatment plan. You need to get to the bottom of what may have caused your seizure. Work with the best neurologist to develop a plan so you can get on with your normal life and activities

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What Causes Seizures in Adults