Epilepsy is defined as a condition characterized by recurrent episodes primarily of cerebral origin, in which there is a disturbance of movement, sensation, behavior or consciousness. These episodes begin suddenly and have a tendency to disappear spontaneously.
Symptoms of epilepsy
- Convulsion without fever
- Intermittent fainting spells
- Loss of bladder and bowel control during fainting spells
- Extreme weakness and fatigue after attack
- Sudden stiffness
- Confusion of memory
- Sudden bouts of blinking and chewing without any obvious cause or stimuli
- Changes in sense of smell, touch and sound
- Jerking of body, arms and legs.
Diagnosis of epilepsy
Age of onset – (A) infancy – metabolic disturbances associated with febrile illness, epilepsy, congenital diplegia, congenital hemiplagia and cerebral damage resulting from birth injury.
(B) Childhood – any of the congenital or acquired lesions above mentioned. Idiopathic epilepsy, encephalitis.
(C) Adult life – idiopathic epilepsy rarely begins after age of 25. penetrating head injury involving meninges, intracranial tumor, cysticercosis.
(D) After 50 – epilepsy most often due to cerebral arteriosclerosis. Other causes SUCH AS Stokes-Adams attacks, and spontaneous hypoglycemia.
Description of fit from witness or family circumstances under which fit occurs
Family history – fits which cause sudden loss of conscious with falling, followed by some confusion should be classified as grand mal
History of febrile convulsions in children
Presence of neurological signs (e.g. dysphasia, hemiparesis, field defect , may localize a structural lesion.
Learning disability may suggest a chromosomal disorder.
Progressive features (e.g. dementia, ataxia) suggest a neurodegenerative disease
A cardiovascular examination is essential. The pupils may dilate during seizure.
Confirming the diagnosis
EEG – is of value in establishing the diagnosis of epilepsy and an aid in determining the type of seizure.
EEG telemetry – in the form of ambulatory recording or video telemetry may be necessary if diagnosis is in doubt despite apparently frequent seizure.
Further investigations – may be necessary. Hypoglycemia needs to be ruled out, particularly in patient6 with early morning seizures.
Investigating the cause – MRI provides reliable diagnosis of hippocampal sclerosis, cortical dysgenesis and small foreign tissue lesions.
Treatment of epilepsy
Treatment entirely depends upon cause and medical condition.
Homeopathic treatment of epilepsy – Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach.
This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat epilepsy but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several well-proved medicines are available for epilepsy treatment that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensation and modalities of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. Some important remedies are given below for epilepsy treatment:
Causticum – epilepsy at the age of puberty due to menstrual irregularity or suppression of eruptions or to some fright, worse during new moon; Involuntary urination; Better by drinking cold water
Passiflora IC – attacks coming on the menstrual period. The aura is a tight feeling in the chest.
Plumbum – epilepsy due to cerebral sclerosis or tumors; Heaviness and paralytic sensation before the attack and there is often paralysis and prolonged snoring there after. Constipation severe
Belladonna – in recent cases of epilepsy only; the convulsions begin in the upper extremities and extend to the face, eyes and mouth; fits of short duration several times during the day and passing off suddenly.
Argentum Nitricum – epilepsy caused by fright or at the time of menses. Dilatation of pupils for days or hours before the attack and restlessness and trembling of hands after the attack. Sharp cry. Violent muscular twitching, especially of the throat; Complete unconsciousness with frothing at mouth; often bites her tongue, then a deep sleep for about three hours. Fit comes by taking sweet fruits.
Cuprum Met – the aura begins in the lower extremities and ascends to the hypogastric region when unconsciousness, convulsions and foaming of the mouth supervene. The patient continuously protrudes and retracts tongue during the attack. Worse in warm room; Oppressive headache preceding the attack
Natrum Mur – twitching of arms and legs before and during the attack; aversion to bread. Dullness, difficulty of thinking, depression and irritability; Aura begins in the arms or may be as if mouse ran up the leg to right side of abdomen. Attacks preceded by vertigo, sleep, gritting of teeth, nausea and vomiting, froth at mouth. Trembling; Body jerks, legs rapidly drawn up, hands clinched, thumbs not drawn in. chronic cases of psoric taint, suppressed itch.
Nux Vom – convulsions of epilepsy with consciousness, worse with anger, touch, emotion, moving, indigestion. Convulsions with titanic rigidity, opisthotonos, red face and closed eyes. Involuntary defecation and urination in fit; Aura from epigastrium; Deep sleep follows the attack. Worse in open air
Bufo – in cases of epilepsy when due to masturbation or sexual excesses; The fit may return during coition. An awful sensation of anxiety in the abdomen and then there is sudden loss of consciousness. Pupils largely dilated and unaffected by light before the attack. Aura starts from sexual organs or abdomen. Mouthy wide open before an attack and dropping g of the jaw after the attack; Urine passes involuntarily after the attack or epilepsy occurs during sleep;
Kali Brom – when the fit comes at the new moon and headache follows the fit. Mental dullness, slowness of expression, vertigo, uncertain gait, morose and sleepy;
Baryta Mur – epilepsy with distension of blood vessels, emaciation, fainting spells. Complaints worse in spring; Formication all over the body;
Alumina – the fits come on mostly while passing stools.
Ignatia – epileptic fits which occur after mortification or great fright from anger with silent grief; from anxiety; unhappy love;
Thuja – epileptic fits occurring after vaccination when pustules disappear which had appeared as a result of vaccination. Ears feel numbed before attack.
Silicea – epilepsy in slender, tall, dark, chilly, arrogant, thirstless persons, constipated with clammy, sweaty palms, and unhealthy skin. Nightly attacks occurring about new and full moon;
Viscum Alb – for epilepsy when vertigo persists after the attack;
Calcaria Carb – epilepsy in children with open fontanelles and late dentition; sweating of the head and neck; Dread of an attack and broods over his affliction which makes him melancholic; Epilepsy due to suppression of eruptions, orgasm or sexual excess; Sensation of something burning in arms, or from pit of stomach downwards; sudden attack of vertigo, loss of consciousness without convulsions; chewing motion of mouth before the attacks
Cicuta virosa – sudden rigidity followed by jerks and violent distortions, oppression of breathing, lock jaw, face dark red, frothing at the mouth with opisthotonos; great prostration after the attack.
Hyoscyamus – twitching and jerking with frothing at the mouth and biting of the tongue. Hunger previous to the attacks
Agaricus M. – in epilepsy when after the attack there is great flow of ideas and the patient talks too much. Fit of epilepsy every seven days.
Glonine – most violent, pulsating and pressing headache before the attack; It is worse in warm room and by warm application.