Expert Warning: “Epilepsy Can Come In Many Ways”

Epilepsy, a neurological disorder, also known as epilepsy among people, is expressed as a disorder in the electrical system of the brain. Experts against the disease, which has symptoms such as sudden contractions in the body, uncontrollable trembling in arms and legs, loss of consciousness, rapid nodding of the head, looking at a fixed point, are raising awareness on March 26 World Epilepsy Awareness Day, and warn how to approach patients during attacks. Başakşehir Çam and Head of Pediatric Neurology Clinic of Sakura City, Prof. Dr. İhsan Kafadar also stated that there are about 1 million epilepsy patients in Turkey, and explained the mistakes made in interventions to patients during epileptic crisis.

“Many diseases can be confused with epilepsy”

Başakşehir Çam and Sakura City Hospital Pediatric Neurology Clinic Chief Prof. Dr. İhsan Kafadar said, “What we call epilepsy; a disturbance in the electrical conduction of the brain. Because of this condition, epilepsy can occur in a variety of ways. In addition, depending on which part of the brain is involved, that is, if the visual center is affected, the person may not be able to see, if the motor center is affected, there may be movement disorders, and if the hearing center is affected, there may be are tinnitus. When we look at it, it can be seen in many ways, and many diseases can be compared to epilepsy, even if they are not. When children are young, they have seizures and are confused with epilepsy. Migraine attacks can occur and can be confused with epilepsy. Epilepsy is a group of diseases that can be seen with many syndromes and confused with many diseases. There are many reasons, anything that interferes with basic electrical communication can cause it. With the drugs we use, 70-80 percent of our patients get better or we can control our patients’ seizures with drugs. Currently, 70-80 percent of our patients are able to achieve satisfactory results with their treatments.

The simple procedures to be performed when we first meet the patient can save and give direction to the person’s life. The first thing to do is; If there’s an environment where the patient will self-injure if we see a seizure, to get the patient out of there. The second thing to do is; The child or adult should not open his mouth. If we tried to open their mouths it could be with a finger, I saw people who had their fingers cut off. We can damage their teeth, tongue, especially at the beginning of the contraction, it is not possible to do this. Because the jaw contracts and we can’t open it, but if we can, turn the person on their side or turn them sideways after they relax and stick out the tongue. Onions, garlic should not be smelled, cologne, vinegar should not be poured, and the person should not be beaten. It is also necessary not to immediately try to give water to the child or person, as the person’s swallowing functions are temporarily disrupted during the attack. If we try to give water, it can go to the person’s lungs at that point,” he said.

“Epilepsy is not an infectious disease”

Expressing that epilepsy should not be considered as a single disease, Prof. Dr. İhsan Kafadar said: “The vast majority of seizures, 75 percent of them generally end within 3 minutes, 25 percent last for a long time. The longer the attack lasts longer than 3 minutes, the more likely people are to be affected. This can vary depending on age and type of seizure. Epilepsy should not be considered as a single disease, there are different types of epilepsy. This can vary depending on the type of epilepsy. It is very important that the person’s sleep is regular, especially in the groups we consider primary generalized epilepsy. People should stay away from bright lights and spinning orbs that flash and flicker like disco lights. Third, it’s the most important preventative method of not drinking too many caffeinated drinks, but I wouldn’t say this for every epilepsy.

We have a significant group of patients, they show up around 4-5 or 6-7 years of age and after treatment can lead completely normal lives after 14-15 years of age. If possible, treatment should be started early, especially parents have a great responsibility. We have about 1 million epilepsy or epilepsy patients in our country. I can say for sure that this disease is not an infectious disease. However, there may be children who have had an infectious disease, such as meningitis or encephalitis, who have had brain damage and thus remain epileptic, but these children are not contagious. If the epileptic patient’s relatives and everyone in our society learn about the initial response to the epileptic patient and the epileptic patient, it is the right thing to do in terms of their social responsibility. I hope that this 20 percent, which we collectively call drug-resistant epilepsy, will drop to 5 percent or 2 percent in the next few years,” he said.

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