What is Epilepsy Project by mabol21

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									What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a neurological condition, which affects the nervous system. Epilepsy is also known as a seizure disorder. It is usually diagnosed after a person has had at least two seizures that were not caused by some known medical condition like alcohol withdrawal or extremely low blood sugar. The seizures in epilepsy may be related to a brain injury or a family tendency, but most of the time the cause is unknown. The word "epilepsy" does not indicate anything about the cause of the person's seizures, what type they are, or how severe they are. (Epilepsy Foundation)

What is a Seizure?
A seizure is a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain which usually affects how a person feels or acts for a short time. Seizures are not a disease in themselves. Instead, they are a symptom of many different disorders that can affect the brain. Some seizures can hardly be noticed, while others are totally disabling.
The seizures in epilepsy may be related to a brain injury or family tendency, but often the cause is completely unknown. (www.epilepsy.com)

G.P. Kent et al. researched whether the duration (time since diagnosis) of intractable epilepsy is associated with progressive memory loss using 250 individuals with left or right temporal lobe epilepsy and those diagnosed with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures as a comparison group where Verbal and Non-verbal memory function was assessed on each individual in the group.
-G.P. Kent et al, 2006

The duration (MTLE) and significantly performance duration of

of Medial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy age at seizure’s inception are related to verbal memory and is impaired with increased spells and earlier age at its inception.

Verbal memory functions decline with longer duration of epilepsy and increased number of seizures.
(G.P. Kent et al., 2006)

What are the Cumulative Cognitive Effects of Recurrent Brief Seizures in Patients with Epilepsy?
Sutula & Pitkanen suggested three reasons the answer has been elusive: • Individual inconsistency and susceptibility to seizure activity may blur result. • Broad range of underlying pathologies in patients with disorders may disguise the effect of seizures. • Stigma associated with epilepsy prevents clinicians and researchers from working with representative populations.

(Sutula & Pitkanen, 2006)

Research and the Future:
• May lead to better understanding of potential adverse effects of seizure activity on memory function in patients by investigating the adverse effects associated with prolonged duration of the disorder. • The more it is understood about the nature, cause, and time course of memory impairment in epilepsy, the better clinicians can counsel patients and make accurate risk-benefit assessments.
(G.P. Kent et al., 2006)

• Seizures may disturb the process of memory consolidation residing in certain regions.
• Neuroanatomical changes in the hippocampus and associative mesial temporal lobe structures.

(G.P. Kent, et al., 2006)

- Kent et al., G.P. (2006) The Effects of Duration of Intractable Epilepsy on Memory Function. Epilepsy & Behavior. 9, pp. 469 – 477. - About Epilepsy. (2006) Retrieved on December 17, 2006 from http:// www.epilepsyfoundation.org./answerplace/ About-Epilepsy.cfm - Seizures. (2006) Retrieved December 17, 2006 fromhttp://www.epilepsy.com/101/ep101_sei zure.html - Sutula, T.P. & Pitkanen, A. Progress in brain research. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science; 2002.

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