Seizure disorder is another term for epilepsy. When a person suffers from this condition, the brain's electrical signals are disrupted leading to a whole host of problems. While one minor seizure can be quite common, it is not until a person has experienced two or more episodes that epilepsy may be diagnosed.
Children and elderly people over age 65 are the segments of society most commonly diagnosed with epilepsy. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, 3 million Americans are affected by epilepsy and seizures, and approximately 200,000 new cases occur each year. The cost of this disorder accounts for $15.5 billion every year.
Types of Epilepsy
The medical community has grouped epilepsy into two categories:
- Partial or focal seizures, where only one part of the brain is affected
- Generalized seizures, where the entire brain is affected
Regardless of the type, epilepsy can have a devastating effect on a person's ability to live a normal life and hold a steady job.
It is a common myth that epilepsy only includes episodes of physical seizures. When the brain cells experience deviant activity, any part of the bodily or brain functions can be affected. Some common symptoms of epilepsy include:
- Emotion changes
- Changes in sensations
- Loss of awareness
- Uncontrolled body movements
- Body shaking or stiffening
- Loss of bladder control
- Tongue biting
Scientists have identified links between a few defective genes and seizure disorders. However, this only accounts for a small portion of cases. Other causes include episodes of physical trauma where the brain is deprived of oxygen, including:
- Medical episodes, such as stroke or vascular diseases
- Brain tumor or infections
- Auto accidents
- Sports injuries
- Head injuries
Treatment for seizure disorders is imperative to help a person control potentially dangerous situations. Anti-seizure medications can be very effective for epileptic patients when the correct dosage is achieved. The potential side effects, including weight gain, fatigue, dizziness, depression, rashes and skin problems, are usually outweighed by the positive effects of the drugs.
Other treatment options include:
- Brain surgery
- Vagus nerve stimulation, which connects a chest implant to a nerve in the neck
- Ketogenic diet that is low in carbohydrates and high in protein and fat
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits can help people who suffer from seizure disorders get the help they need to live a long and healthy life. If you are suffering from epileptic seizures, please contact Kalfus & Nachman online or by dialing one of our convenient Virginia offices at (800) 361-0430 today.