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Misconceptions Of Epilepsy

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Epilepsy, also known as a seizure disorder, is a chronic neurological condition that affects an estimated 2.9 million people in the United States alone – over half of the cases beginning in childhood (Carlton-Ford et al., 1995). It is characterized by recurrent, and unprovoked seizures, which are abnormal electrical activities in the brain cells, occurring more than 24 hours apart (“Genetic Testing for Epilepsy,” 2012). There are two types of seizures that are characteristic of epilepsy: generalized and partial seizures. The first type—generalized seizures—involves the entire brain from the onset of the attack and is classified into two subtypes: tonic-clonic seizures and absence seizures. During tonic-clonic seizures, the more common type…show more content…
However, epilepsy is not contagious. The study also discovered that people overemphasize the role of heredity, believing that 67% of most cases of epilepsy are inherited (Kwon et al., 2006). Though genetics does play a role, specifically in that someone with a close relative with epilepsy has a slightly higher risk for it than someone with no family history of seizures, epilepsy is not inherited in the same way that eye color is passed down, for example. According to this study as well as Doughty et al. (2003), people express the fear that seizures could damage the brain, specifically by terminating brain cells. However, though severe seizures can cause brain damage, most seizures do not seem to have detrimental effects on the brain. Finally, another common misconception is that regular exercise can provoke a seizure. However, most previous studies have indicated that physical exercise rarely triggers seizures but instead offers moderate seizure protection (Nakken et al., 1990). In another study analyzing treatment of epilepsy, Roseman and Taylor (1952) also advise regular exercise because an individual suffering epilepsy in good physical condition has fewer and less severe attacks than one who is in poor…show more content…
Individuals who suffer from epilepsy drastically differ in many characteristics, such as the frequency and severity of the seizures, age, comorbidity, medical history, and overall health, so the antiepileptic drug strategy should be tailored to each patient’s seizure type (Rugg-Gunn and Sanders, 2012). Some examples of medication include Carbamazepine and Valium. While taking AEDs, it is important to monitor blood levels, occurrence of side effects, and seizure frequency in order to manage drug treatment and decide whether to continue, discontinue, or change drugs/dosage. Other non-epilepsy drugs may also lower the seizure threshold, including antidepressants and antipsychotics (Rugg-Gunn and Sanders,
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