Understanding Epilepsy following Omer Detz’s passing | Dr. Itai Gal

Epilepsy is a disease that is mostly genetic and affects about one percent of the world’s population. In some cases, it can be caused by head injuries, brain tumors, or drug and alcohol use. The cause of epileptic seizures is often unclear, leading to treatments that focus on preventing electrical disturbances and reducing the risk of repeated seizures. Around half of patients respond well to drug treatment and experience a full quality of life with minimal seizures, while 30% require complex drug regimens for severe attacks. Some patients are resistant to drug treatment and may be candidates for surgery to remove the epileptic focus in the brain.

Convulsions can sometimes be caused by temporary conditions like exposure to drugs or poisons, or abnormal blood levels of sodium or glucose. These convulsions usually do not recur once the underlying issue is resolved. However, conditions like head injuries, strokes, tumors, birth defects, and metabolic diseases can lead to recurring convulsions. While epilepsy may be a lifelong condition, modern drug treatments allow most patients to lead normal lives, with some eventually needing less medication or even stopping treatment altogether. EEG tests are typically used to diagnose epilepsy by recording brain waves over time and detecting changes that indicate epileptic activity requiring drug treatment.

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