Epilepsy Epilepsy Epilepsy is caused by irregular electrical impulses in the brain.  A normal brain communicates by electrical pulses in an systematic fashion.  Epilepsy is like an electrical storm and those storms cause seizures.  Those with epilepsy can experience different types of seizures, partial or generalized.  These seizures are symptoms of the type of epilepsy and must be diagnosed by a battery of tests and a team of doctors.  This team includes medical, social support, and psycho-social.  It's extremely important that the patient discuss any problems with work, school, relationships or social interactions.  Partial seizures are divided into two categories: simple partial and complex partial.  Depending upon what part of the brain is affected a simple partial seizure may be jerking movements, extreme emotions and a change in taste.  With a complex partial seizure the person loses all sense of awareness and unconscious movements like fidgeting and lip smacking. Generalized seizures affect the entire brain.  Symptoms include the entire body stiffening and jerking, and loss of consciousness.  This is known as a grand mal or generalized tonic-clonic seizures.  There is also myoclonic seizures which present with lightening jerks of the muscles usually on both sides of the body.  Additionally there are absence seizures, also known as petit-mal seizures.  This type presents with a blank stare and a loss of awareness. Some important tips for someone with epilepsy or a loved one are: always carry medical ID, inform your coworkers, family and friends what to do if you have a seizure, stay physically active but be prudent in the type of sports you participate in, be aware and alert to possible drug interactions when taking over-the-counter medications, avoid alcohol, and always take your medications. The top eight things you should do if someone is experiencing a seizure are:  call 911 for emergency aid if the person is not diagnosed with epilepsy, loosen their clothing around the neck, do not insert anything into their mouth or try to restrain them, ask bystanders to step back and give the person room, remove glasses, furniture or other objects that could cause possible harm, and after the seizure lay the person on their side to maintain an open airway plus do not leave them alone. Epilepsy can be successfully treated with medications, learning to deal with stress in a healthy manner, keeping all doctor's appointments, and remaining physically healthy and active.  It's extremely important that others are aware of the epilepsy so that they can be prepared in the event of a seizure. 
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