Epilepsy is one of the most common disorders of the nervous system. It affects nearly 110,000 people in the state of Michigan alone and 30,000 of these continue to have seizures despite medical treatment.
As accredited level 4 comprehensive programs, Beaumont’s Pediatric and Adult Comprehensive Epilepsy Centers offer one of the most comprehensive diagnostic and treatment programs for epilepsy in the state of Michigan.
WHAT IS EPILEPSY
Epilepsy is a disorder in the brain that causes neurons, of clusters of nerves cells, to send abnormal electrical signals. These signals can trigger strange sensations, emotions, and behaviors. Which commonly lead to convulsions, seizures, muscles spasms, and potential loss of consciousness.
Epilepsy affects approximately one percent of the population and can occur in all age groups. Seizures are very common among the elderly, who represent the most rapidly growing population with epilepsy. In addition, one percent of all children in the United States suffer from some for of pediatric epilepsy.
CAUSES OF EPILEPSY
There are many different causes of epilepsy. Each person experiencing the disorder will have different symptoms, reactions and manifestations. Epilepsy can be acquired or be present since birth. Epilepsy can also be of unknown cause.
It is important to remember, however, that just because a person experiences a seizure does not mean he or she has epilepsy. As a rule, a patient must have two or more seizures in a consecutive manner to be diagnosed with epilepsy.
Diagnosis of epilepsy can be made with specialized testing including electroencephalogram (EEG) and brain scans, like computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Most often, evaluation with an expert, such as an epileptologist, is required for an accurate assessment and diagnosis. Patients may require extended evaluation in an inpatient epilepsy monitoring unit for further advanced testing.