Don’t forget to take your Anti-Epileptic pills

Normal brain function involves millions of nerve cells or neurons communicating with the organs through the electrical signals sent by the brain. Each nerve cell is made of a cell body and branches called axons and dendrites which join other neurons at junctions called synapses. Millions and billions of these neurons constitute together to form a circuit. Seizures occur when there is an imbalance in these excitatory and inhibitory circuits, either in the entire brain or in a specific part of the brain. If the seizure occurs in a localized part of the brain then it is called Focal Epilepsy but if the seizure occurs in the entire part of the brain, it is called General Epilepsy.

The cause of epilepsy includes many factors. The brain works with the neurons to form a system and when this system disrupted due to faulty electrical activity, epilepsy occurs. The factors responsible for this disturbance may be head trauma, stroke, tumour, infectious diseases, prenatal injuries, autism, etc.

There are a few surgeries that can cure seizures if an underlying correctable brain condition is causing them otherwise there is no proper cure for seizures. Now when a person is diagnosed with epilepsy, the doctor may prescribe a few seizure-preventing drugs or anti-epileptic drugs. These drugs can stop the seizures from occurring temporarily so that the patient can lead a normal, productive life. These medications or drugs alter the electrical activity in neurons by affecting the ion channels in the cell membrane. These alter the chemical transmission between the neurons by affecting the neurotransmitters in the synapse. In simple words, the anti-epileptic drugs prevent seizures either by decreasing excitation or increasing inhibition in neurological activity. The anti-epileptic drugs should always be started with a low dose and slowly increasing it to reach a maintenance level and spacing medication doses appropriately can help in stabling the patient.

There are a few considerations associated with the drug treatment of epilepsy. As seen in many cases missing a dosage can be very harmful. So establishing a regular routine can help to avoid any medication being missed. Side-effects of these medications have been seen in many cases so the medications should be cut off immediately if any illness is seen. So don’t take medicine without the supervision of a doctor.

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