What are the most common symptoms and causes of epilepsy?

epilepsy_factsEpilepsy is more than just suffering seizures. While many people may experience an isolated seizure episode, epileptics suffer from recurrent seizures that can happen at any time, often without warning.

This chronic condition causes a sudden flurry of electrical activity in the brain, resulting in behavioral, sensory, or perception changes.
 

The problems caused by epilepsy, as well as its unpredictable nature, often make it difficult for patients to earn a sustainable living.

Common Causes of Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders

The symptoms of epilepsy often vary from patient to patient. Some patients can experience minor seizures without realizing it, and may simply think that they “zoned out” for a few moments. In major seizures, patients may perform repetitive movements, lose consciousness, or suffer muscle spasms. Afterward, patients often report having no memory of the episode, and may report changes in smells, sight, hearing, and taste for hours afterward.

There are many different causes of epilepsy and seizure disorders, including:

  • Genetics. People who haven't suffered any external conditions that may result in seizures may have a hereditary form of epilepsy caused by the development or interaction of their genes.
  • Infections. An infection in the spinal cord or in the brain itself may result in epilepsy. A person who suffers a high fever or a condition that leaves scarring on the brain is at risk of experiencing seizures in the future.
  • Head injuries. Severe head injuries may cause epilepsy, such as shaken baby syndrome or trauma from a car accident or fall.
  • Brain damage. Strokes, tumors, hypoxia, drug use, Alzheimer’s disease, and other conditions that damage the structures or blood supply in the brain are likely to result in seizures.

While there's currently no cure for epilepsy, patients may be successfully treated with anticonvulsant medications. If seizures are the result of a tumor, hemorrhaging in the brain, or some other abnormality, a patient may need surgery to treat the underlying cause of epilepsy.

In many cases, patients will be severely limited in their employment options due to the effects of their conditions. If you're unable to work due to epilepsy complications, our attorneys can help you get the Social Security benefits you deserve. Call us today, or fill out the form on this page to set up your consultation with a Social Security attorney.