Before exploring the effects of epilepsy on the human brain and the current treatment options, it is essential to provide a basic overview of the condition. Epilepsy constitutes a type of non-communicable brain disorder which causes individuals to experience unprovoked and recurring seizures (Beghi 186). Essentially, epilepsy is a neurological condition which is the result of abnormal electrical activity in the person’s central nervous system.
Epilepsy has multiple effects on the brain of an individual. The primary impact of the condition is the disruption of neurons, the brain cells which receive sensory input and send motor commands (Beghi 186). Neurons transmit messages as electrical impulses which, in the case of epilepsy, lose their rhythmic pattern. Instead, regular impulses become replaced by random electrical energy bursts, which are unpredictable and can emerge in various areas of the person’s brain. The disruption of the impulses triggers seizures which are the main symptom of the condition. The issue of seizures causing further brain damage has been for a long time discussed by scientists and researchers. Nevertheless, recent studies demonstrate that continuous seizures can lead to severe brain injury and substantial damage to nerve cells (Beghi 187). As a result, a patient diagnosed with epilepsy can experience a gradual decline in terms of their cognitive ability, as well as their quality of life. At the same time, epilepsy can be accompanied by a variety of other symptoms, including dizziness, heart palpitations, loss of consciousness, nausea, vomiting, and twitching muscles.
Epilepsy is a condition which currently does not have a cure, yet there are treatment methods which can help people to alleviate disorder’s symptoms and enhance their well-being. The main treatment option involves administering or consumption of special medication targeted at addressing epilepsy symptoms. Specifically, the majority of medications counter seek to counter seizures which constitute the most disruptive element of the condition. For instance, brivaracetam is one of the safest and most effective medications used by epilepsy patients (Brigo et al. 774). Brivaracetam causes the cessation of seizures and does not have any adverse side effects. At the same time, brivaracetam is usually used as an add-on treatment together with other medications. For example, cannabidiol is a medication used in patients who have seizures which are hard to treat. Cannabidiol was found to be effective in reducing the frequency of drop and convulsive seizures in patients with different types of epilepsy (Franco and Perucca 1438). Thus, there are several medication options which patients with epilepsy can utilize to alleviate seizures.
Nevertheless, medication is not the only treatment method available to epilepsy patients since there is also an option of surgery. In fact, studies demonstrate that epilepsy surgery is the most effective way of achieving long-term results in the successful reduction of seizures in patients with the condition (Thijs et al. 695). There are many surgery methods which can be used on patients with epilepsy, and their utilization depends on various factors such as the type and severity of the condition. Resective surgery is the most popular surgery method, and it involves removing a small part of the patient’s brain, namely the one where seizures occur (Thijs et al. 696). The most common area on which the resective surgery is performed is the temporal lobe which is responsible for the control of emotions, memory, and language skills (Thijs et al. 696). Thus, patients with epilepsy can choose among the existing treatment options and employ those which can benefit them the most.
Beghi, Ettore. “The Epidemiology of Epilepsy.” Neuroepidemiology, vol. 54,no. 2, 2020, pp. 185-191.
Brigo, Francesco, et al. “Intravenous Brivaracetam in the Treatment of Status Epilepticus: A Systematic Review.” CNS Drugs, vol. 33,no. 8, 2019, pp. 771-781.
Franco, Valentino and Perucca, Emilio. “Pharmacological and Therapeutic Properties of Cannabidiol for Epilepsy.” Drugs, vol. 79, no. 13, 2019, pp. 1435-1454.
Thijs, Roland, et al. “Epilepsy in Adults.” The Lancet, vol. 393, no. 10172, 2019, pp. 689-701.