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Genesis of Epilepsy

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  • The brain is the control center for the body, like a computer of the highest generation. It is made up of millions of tiny nerve cells or neurons and supporting glial cells. Each neuron is connected to thousands of other neurons and in turn to the different parts of the body via nerves. Each neuron has electrical voltage difference across the parts of the body via nerves and across the cell membrane. (This inherent electrical activity can actually be detected, measured and recorded by the electrencephalogram – EEG). A seizure occurs when there is a sudden "Surge" or "Excess" or "Chaos" in the normal electrical activity in groups of neurons (epileptic focus) possibly due to change in metabolism. This abnormal electrical discharge spreads to the other areas of the brain and soon there is total disruption of the normal function of the brain. This chaotic state of excessive excitability is ultimately brought under control by inherent inhibitory influences.
  • The abnormal discharges may involve a small part of the brain only manifesting as partial or focal seizure or a much more extensive area in both cerebral hemispheres manifesting as generalized seizures. The presence or absence of a warning or an aura and a typical sequence of events during an attack reflect the point in the brain from where the attack begins.
  • The abnormal discharges may vary in site, extent and severity and this explains the wide diversity of clinical forms that a seizure might take.

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