Epilepsy is a brain disorder caused by various factors and characterized by a recurrent, episodic and temporal dysfunction of the central nervous system that results from an excessive discharge of brain neurons. Because epilepsy occurs because of abnormal brain activity, seizures can affect any process that coordinates, so people may have unusual sensations and emotions or behave in a weird way. They may have violent muscle spasms, temporary confusion or loss of consciousness
As a serious health problem worldwide, epilepsy accounts for 1% of the world’s diseases and it is estimated that epilepsy affects approximately 40 million people around the world, with these patients having a higher death rate than the population general
In recent decades, despite the continued development of antiepileptic drugs, there are still more than 30% of patients with epilepsy who progress to drug-resistant epilepsy, which leads to a significant increase in the morbidity and mortality of epilepsy.
Certain factors may increase the risk of epilepsy, such as:
– Age. The onset of epilepsy can occur at any age. However, this disease usually occurs more frequently among children and in people of legal age.
– Family background. If you have a family history of epilepsy, you may have an increased risk of developing a seizure disorder.
– Injuries of cranial type. Cranial lesions are responsible for some cases of epilepsy.
– Stroke and other vascular diseases.
– Dementia. Dementia may increase the risk of epilepsy in older adults.
– Central nervous system infections. Infections such as meningitis or encephalitis
– Convulsions in childhood. Due to a high fever in childhood or viral diseases of childhood like measles, chicken pox, mumps.
There are three main methods of diagnosing epilepsy:
Personal and medical history of the patient. The doctor performs it by obtaining as much information as possible that the affected
Electroencephalogram. With the electroencephalogram, the doctor discovers if there are special cerebral circumstances that explain why epileptic seizures occur.
Computed tomography. It consists of a series of photographs of different levels of the brain, with which you can see if there is any bulge, scar, mark or any other condition that may be causing the attacks.
It is advisable to go to a specialist, in the case of suffering an episode of epilepsy, so you can examine it carefully. This because a careful and accurate diagnosis of the type of epilepsy suffered by the patient is essential to find an effective treatment.
To make a correct diagnosis it is necessary that the person has suffered at least two attacks. Once the diagnosis is made, it is advisable to start a treatment with antiepileptic drugs that help control this attack in approximately 70-80% of patients.
These drugs help restore the balance between brain neurons and reduce possible electrical discharges from the brain.
Between 20-30% of people do not respond to simple pharmacological treatment (with only one medication) and several drugs must be combined. Even so, some epilepsies do not respond to medication.
For all this, participating in a clinical study is an excellent opportunity to help researchers find better ways to detect, treat or prevent epilepsy in a safe way and, therefore, offer hope to people now and in the future. At Althian, we are about to begin an epilepsy trial, so if you would like more information as a patient or sponsor, feel free to contact us.