Pathophysiology of Seizures – Term Paper

Pathology of Seizures


A seizure is an episode that alters the behavior alteration out of massive abnormal electrical charge in one or more areas of the brain. The electric activity of the brain is usually referred to as the electroencephalogram (EEG) (Grimes, 2009). The situation is followed by convulsions or other emotion changes; individuals might experience a seizure if they are exposed to extreme systemic stress like hypoxia or the rapid drop in the level of blood of glucose. In case there is the elevation of temperature, an infant might be found susceptible to flexible seizure. Such types of seizures are referred to as non-recurrent and isolated tasks.

It is believed that the nerve cells misfires 500 seconds more than the usual rate. The individual affected ranges from few seconds of blank staring to minutes of convulsions, muscle spasms and loss of consciousness (Grimes, 2009). Having seizures does not mean that the individual is suffering from mental retardation. Some of the mentally ill persons suffer from a seizure, though, but it is not to say that it was the cause. “Only about half of the people with new diagnosis of epilepsies stops having seizures” (Brandt & Puente, n.d. p.26).The study has it that one person out of 100 in the whole world is one way affected by a seizure disorder. The report indicates that3 million individuals in America suffers from Seizure disorder. In 2012, the number was about 200,000, and they were diagnosed every year.

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The children that are below the age of 15 were found to be 45,000. Most of the children diagnosed from seizure have generalized seizure. The history of seizure diagnosis is usually based on the examination description of the seizure. The tests that are carried out by an individual with seizure are a blood test to check low or high blood pressure and also to check for makers in the blood that could point to the type of seizure that one has. Lumber puncture can also be conducted so that it can check for the signs of infections. Electroencephalography can also be done to check any unusual activities of the brain. Brain imaging studies like the CT scan and MRI can be done to search for tumors and other structural problems and especially to individuals with epilepsy.

A seizure can be caused by epilepsies and therefore they are three categories of seizures: epileptic seizure, provoked seizure, and non-epileptic seizure. An epileptic seizure is a type of brain dysfunction that causes episodes of abnormal electrical activity in the brain (Grimes, 2009). This type of seizure can be resulting from any brain injury like a stroke, head trauma, and brain infection. Provoked seizure is caused by drug abuse like alcohol and other imbalances like low blood sugar. The type of seizure cannot occur again once the provoking problem is removed. The nonepileptic seizure resembles seizure but is caused by the abnormal brain activity. The seizure can be due to a fainting spell, psychological condition, and muscle disorder.

Seizure disorder has got risk factors which include age, personal history and head injury, race, and sex. With relation to age, children who are younger than two years and the adults who are more than 65 years are more likely to be affected by that condition (Grimes, 2009). With sex, the male is more likely to suffer from seizure compared to the females. In the race factor, it is believed that the African Americans are more likely to develop seizure disorder compared to the other racial groups. The rate of individual that suffers from the seizure disorder are people with nervous system disorders like Alzheimer.

It has been identified that seizure affects at least 10% of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, 22 percent of patients with stroke, 10 percent of children with cerebral palsy and mental retardation. “Children are more susceptible to seizures than adult due to biochemical changes in the immature brain” (El-Radhi, 2015, p. 6). 8.7 percent of children whose mothers had seizures and 2.4 percent of children whose fathers suffered from a seizure disorder.

Seizures Symptoms

The symptoms of seizure occur in the different phases of the disorder and also it is exhibited in the Exposition of other conditions like epilepsies. Epilepsies cannot cause a seizure, but the vise-verse can happen (Grimes, 2009). There are four phases that seizures has. They are Aura or prodromal phase. It is considered to be a simple partial seizure that is subjective to the sensation that precedes seizure activity. The patient is bound to hallucinate, seeing and hearing things that are far from the real thing.

 Other patients experience emotional changes like extreme anxiety and depression. Most patients with epilepsies have a recurrent aura before any episodes of seizure. Since changes cannot be evident to the dental team, feedback from the family or friends is what is used to make a further diagnosis. The other phase is known as the preictal phase whereby the patient’s muscle has sustained contraction such that the patient appears to be rigid. The chest muscle of the patient appears to be rigid and stiff (Grimes, 2009). The individual experiences difficulty in breathing and can also suffer from cyanosis. In the hypertonic phase, the patient experiences muscle rigidity with the hypertension of the spine. In the clonic phase, the patient experiences contractions of muscle too with rhythmic jerking motions which are associated with convulsions and heavy breathing.

Seizures Signs

The jaw of the patient remains clenched making the management of air difficult. Blood can appear in the mouth due to tongue biting and other injuries occurring as a result of other injuries (Grimes, 2009). The last phase is the post-seizure phase where the patient only remains to be unconscious. After the seizure stops, depression occurs in the central nervous system respiratory and the cardiovascular system. Epilepsy is a condition that one can tell that a particular individual suffers from seizure. Since it occurs in both gender, it is most frequently diagnosis in infancy, childhood, and adolescent or even at an early age too. Major symptoms of seizure disorder occur with the different types of seizures.  For instance, in the partial seizures, the symptoms might be present, and they include the tensing of the muscle and the alternative contraction and relaxation of the muscle. The patient also experiences involuntary turning of the eyes and head.

Change in vision, hearing, and taste is imminent. Patients who experience partial seizures might have a cramping sensation in the abdomen, sweating, flushing, hair follicles and paleness. The psychological disturbances are also felt by the patient whereby they hallucinate and have elusive memories about every sense and their surroundings.

Moreover, complex partial seizures usually begin with a motionless stare or the arrest activity. After that what follows is a series of involuntary movements, eye movements and speech disturbances. The symptoms of the generalized seizure are also different as they include sudden loss of the muscle tone, jerking, eyelids drooping and head nods (Brandt  & Puente, n.d.). The seizure in this category takes only 15 seconds although some of the seizures can last for several minutes. The child becomes conscious and alert again after the seizure. The child usually limbs and falls straight to the ground.