WHAT IS EPILEPSY?

Epilepsy is a disorder in the brain which makes a person prone to seizures.
Seizures, also known as fits, spells, attacks, convulsions or spasms
are sudden and temporary electrical disturbances in the brain
which cause changes in sensation, awareness or behavior.
There are many types of seizures with different manifestations.
One may fall and jerk; others may only stare or fumble with clothes and smack lips.

Epilepsy cannot be cured like malaria, but can be effectively controlled in the majority of cases with anti-epileptic drugs which need to be prescribed by a doctor. Just like seizures, epilepsy is quite varied. One person may live with epilepsy throughout their lives, but in many instances the person can outgrow the condition. For the prescribed drugs to be effective they need to be taken consistently and any change in the drug combinations or amount must be done in consultation with the doctor.

Anyone can get the condition regardless of their country, their age, their social class or their religion. Most people with epilepsy can live an active life; work, go out and have a family as long as they take their medication as prescribed.

Prevention of Epilepsy

In developing countries the chances of getting epilepsy are higher. The latest research suggests that the chances of getting epilepsy in Kenya are three times higher than in developed countries. Fortunately there are ways we

Epilepsy in Kenya

It is estimated that in Kenya 2% of the population (over more than 1,000,000 people) has epilepsy. Therefore, the chance of getting epilepsy is three times higher in Kenya than in developed countries. Many Kenyans

Lookalikes

Epilepsy is a condition which is oft en confused with other conditions. These include: 1. Fainting 2. Psychogenic seizures 3. Breath holding spells 4. Febrile convulsions 5. Daydreaming 6. Sleepwalking 7. Tics 8. Tourette’s syndrome

Types of Seizures

People with epilepsy have different types of seizures. One person may fall and jerk, whereas someone else may only appear absent or nonresponsive for a while and stare. For some people the seizure affects only

Causes

The cause of epilepsy can be defined as the initial reason for which someone has epilepsy. In many instances, the cause of the condition is a mystery. These are called idiopathic epilepsy. If the doctors

Triggers

There are various triggers that can provoke epilepsy seizure. They include: Lack of sleep Stress and excitement Menstruation Missed meal Missed medication Drinking alcohol Taking illicit drugs Flickering lights or patterns Illness (especially diarrhea or

Diagnosis

Everyone who has epilepsy, or thinks that they have epilepsy, must visit a doctor for consultation. It will help the doctor if you take someone with you who was present during your seizure, as they

Taking Treatment

It is important to get treatment to control the seizures. However, the majority of people with epilepsy in Kenya do not make use of it. Research done in Kilifi reveals that, 8 out of 10

First Aid

When a person gets a seizure, they can be offered support to reduce the burden of it. The type of first aid that needs to be given during seizures usually depends on the type of