Aetiology And Risk Factors

Epilepsy is the propensity for an individual to have recurrent unprovoked epileptic seizures. These seizures are produced by abnormal discharges of neurons and may be a manifestation of many different conditions, which modify neuronal function or cause pathological changes in the brain. Many environmental, genetic, pathological and physiological factors may be involved in the development of seizures and epilepsy. The presence of a family history of epilepsy is known to enhance most risk factors...

Symptomatic epilepsies

Common causes of symptomatic epilepsies include head trauma, birth trauma, cerebrovascular disorders, cerebral anoxia, brain infections, cortical malformations and brain tumours. In resource-poor countries, parasitic infestations such as malaria, neurocysticercosis and paragonimiasis are important risk factors. Most epilepsies starting in adult life are symptomatic and investigations to detect any underlying aetiology are mandatory. Head trauma is an important cause of symptomatic epilepsy and...

Psychosocial needs

Attending to the psychosocial, cognitive, educational and vocational aspects is an important part of caring for people with epilepsy. The implications of the diagnosis and the treatment rationale should be discussed with the patient and family to dispel any misconceptions and to ensure good adherence to medication. Support should be offered if lack of knowledge in society or stigma is an impediment for the use of the patient's full capacity and provokes job discrimination. Patients should be...