Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Epilepsy affects about 2 million Americans, but the condition is not well understood. Dr. Edward Hill takes a closer look at epilepsy in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder caused by interference with the normal electrical impulses in the brain. In this disorder, the nervous system produces intense, abnormal bursts of electrical activity in the brain, which can lead to seizures.

Seizures temporarily interfere with muscle control, movement, speech, vision or awareness. Seizures can cause a violent jerking of the limbs. Having seizures can be terrifying, especially if they are severe.

Epilepsy is not a form of mental retardation or mental illness, and is not contagious. The cause of epilepsy is not always clear. Epilepsy is sometimes the result of another condition, such as head injury, brain tumor, brain infection or stroke.

In some cases, seizures occur as a result of injury, illness or another medical condition. In these cases, seizures stop once the condition improves. Epilepsy is a chronic disorder that can cause repeated seizures.

Medication can effectively control seizures in many people with epilepsy. Surgery, special diet, or a device that stimulates nerves may also be used.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.