Epilepsy in children ... This disease is on everyone's lips, but few ordinary citizens have an idea of what it is. But epilepsy - is not such a rare disease, unfortunately. According to statistics, this disease affects every hundredth inhabitant of the planet - will agree, it is a very inspiring figure.
What is this mysterious epilepsy? Doctors describe it as follows: epilepsy - a kind of set of symptoms, the hallmark of which are convulsions or their equivalents - both mental and autonomic.
Most often suffer from epilepsy seizures kids the first few years of life - in this age is about 80% of all seizures. The older the child becomes, the less the likelihood of seizures. This is due to the fact that as the child grows epileptic activity - the so-called convulsive readiness - is significantly reduced.
All parents who learned that their children suffer from epilepsy, for the first time fall into a real panic. However, I would like to reassure the little mom and dad, who are faced with this trouble. In fact, the future of children suffering from epileptic fits, is not so gray and bleak as it might seem at first glance.
Even the story tells about it - a lot of great people in the past have suffered from severe epilepsy. However, they are, in spite of his illness, not only achieved professional peaks, but also perpetuated his name in the history of forever. And mind you, all they achieved in a time when no anticonvulsants, and there was no trace.
What is epilepsy?
Modern medicine has made significant progress in the study of the nature of occurrence of epilepsy: the mechanisms underlying the disease, today known all. And with these mechanisms today, we will introduce our readers.
The human brain has a certain electrical activity resulting from work. This electrical activity is very different from an adult and a child. This is the electrical activity of a variety of electrical discharges - wave. In the normal functioning of the brain, these waves are strictly defined.
But in that case, if the child suffers from epilepsy, bioelectric discharges considerably modified, becoming abnormally strong and sharp, like a lightning bolt. It goes without saying that such a phenomenon can not but have a negative impact on the normal functioning of the brain - his work is disturbed.
What happens during an epileptic seizure? Seizure, in its essence, is nothing but a paroxysm - seizures. During this attack in a child suffering from epilepsy, is a violation of consciousness: the child is unable to control their behavior, to hear and understand speech addressed to him, to perform derived from adult guidance. After the end of the seizure the child does not remember anything - a manifestation of the so-called transient epileptic amnesia.
It goes without saying that for no good reason bioelectrical activity of the brain can not be broken and the child will not have a predisposition to the occurrence of epileptic seizures. And the reason is a violation of the bioelectric activity of the imbalance relationship between the most important active substances that have both excitatory and inhibitory effects on brain cells. In addition, seizures are often triggered by a violation of normal insight, as well as water-salt balance.
For some time, sometimes very long, all of these pathological processes can be completely asymptomatic, does not manifesting itself. However, certain factors are not slow to make itself felt. Such provoking factors may include:
- Different brain injury is severe and the most insignificant.
- Violation of cerebral circulation grade of any nature origin.
- Brain tumors of any origin.
- Severe infection that affects the entire body.
- Severe intoxication affecting the brain.
However, in many cases, the occurrence of epilepsy, all of the above reasons are quite where. In order that the child appeared epilepsy, quite common genetic predisposition. It is a genetic predisposition leads to increased excitability of brain cells, metabolic disorders, normal electrical activity.
Types of epilepsy in children
Physicians are several types of epilepsy, depending on its origin, nature and characteristics of the disease. Different types of epilepsy require completely different principles of treatment and care for a sick child. So, what is it the case, this mysterious epilepsy?
As soon as the doctors will suggest that the child suffers from epilepsy - usually after the first attack - they begin to carry out a thorough examination of the child, the aim of which is to identify the root causes that cause the disease.
However, sometimes doctors can not detect the reasons that provoked the development of epilepsy. And in this case, refers to "asymptomatic" form of the disease - idiopathic anemia. In such cases, the collection of history, it appears that some of the relatives of the child, often very, very distant, also suffered from epileptic seizures.
But do not panic in case one of your relatives suffered from epilepsy - it does not mean that your children have epilepsy is a must-have. Inheritance can only be transmitted tendency to epileptic seizures, but not the disease itself. And on deciphering electroencephalogram doctors clearly see the characteristic of epilepsy, abnormal electrical activity in the brain, but the disease itself in a child is not always present.
It occurs only when certain adverse factors. Incidentally, the prognosis of idiopathic form is most favorable. And for this form of the disease it is also the easiest.
Symptomatic epilepsy, or secondary, develops when the cause of its occurrence is any - any organic brain damage. There are quite a number of different factors that can cause organic brain damage.
These factors include:
- Adverse effects on the child during fetal development.
- The defeat of the central nervous system, resulting from the resulting birth trauma.
- Asphyxia be severe.
All these factors, subject to the availability of genetic predisposition, are able to generate epileptic focus in the cerebral cortex in the child.
Other special forms of anemia
In addition, and somatic, and idiopathic forms of epilepsy are divided into two subspecies:
- The localized form of epilepsy.
So called localized epilepsy in which the epileptic focus of the child is strictly localized to a particular area of the cerebral cortex.
- A generalized form of epilepsy.
In that case, if the child suffers from generalized epilepsy, during an epileptic seizure is involved the entire brain, without exception, any - any area of the brain.
Apart from the localized and generalized forms of epilepsy there is one - mixed. Epileptic seizures begins on the type of localized, but very quickly transformed into Generalized. These epileptic symptoms are also called secondary generalized. Symptoms of epilepsy in children in this case has one and the other forms of the disease.
However, not only the disease itself is divided into different types. The same applies to the seizures themselves. Doctors have identified two kinds of seizures that are significantly different among themselves, require different approaches to treatment:
In most cases, the children found it great generalized seizures. Such seizures are accompanied by abrupt loss of consciousness, convulsions and fall of the baby.
Seizure proceeds in several phases. In the first phase the child convulsions - a kind of involuntary tension of all muscles of the body and limbs. The child is suspended for a while the breathing process of - of what color of skin becomes bluish tint. After 30 - 40 seconds breathing is restored, and flows into a tonic seizure phase.
Convulsive spasms of the limbs die down, going into the lungs rhythmic jerking. These jerking end in about two minutes. Then comes the phase of so-called "postictal" sleep. Sleep lasts only a few minutes, after which a sick child wakes up not remembering anything that happened during the seizure.
Due to the fact that the attack is accompanied by tonic spasms, including spasms of the masticatory muscles, the sick baby during a seizure with a very high probability risks to bite tongue. And, besides, at the peak of an epileptic seizure in a patient child often occurs spontaneous urination. Signs of epilepsy in infants may be slightly different.
There are a large number of features of generalized seizures in children, especially need to know that all parents, faced with a similar problem. This knowledge will help parents protect their crumbs while seizures of the mess:
- Convulsions. During tonic convulsions very gently, but firmly enough to hold the arms and legs, so that the child accidentally hurt himself - not scratched or knocked about anything.
- Biting language. As mentioned above, very often during seizures the child bites his tongue. Be sure to remember this, and during the attack of the disease is required to fix the baby's tongue. Your doctor will tell you how to do it.
- "Postictal" dream. After an epileptic seizure occurs in a child postictal sleep. Parents are highly desirable few minutes do not bother your child and let him wake up on their own. By the way, about two - three hours a child may remain weak in the arms and legs.
There is also such a thing as status epilepticus. Status epilepticus are those cases in which the epileptic paroxysms last one after the other, and their duration is increasing all the time. This condition poses a threat to a child's life, so it should be as fast as possible to deliver to the nearest medical facility or call the brigade "first aid" if you are at home.
As a rule, a similar phenomenon occurs very rarely. Most often, the child's seizures are single, do not pose for his life is no threat. However, sometimes, rarely, a baby epilepsy disease begins with a similar status epilepticus, which requires immediate resuscitation of the complex.
Harbingers of epileptic seizures in children
As a rule, the majority of children epileptic seizure occurs quite suddenly, like a bolt from the blue, when nothing seems to be, does not herald approaching epileptic seizure.
However, at times some of the children for a few minutes and sometimes even hours, feel an attack coming on, noting the changes in its state. Of course, this phenomenon is observed only in older children who already understand everything and can observe changes in health. For a small child, as you know, are not able to do that.
Examples of these harbingers of epileptic seizure include:
- Headache. Moreover, it should be noted that the headache can be absolutely any - sharp, dull, weak or strong expression continue just a couple of minutes or longer. However, remember that the headache may be a sign of other diseases, often quite serious.
- Irritability. Very arising causeless irritability and crying baby also may indicate impending seizures. However, remember that the mood of the child - a very fickle thing. Therefore, not every hysteria indicates that here - to begin an attack of epilepsy.
- Violation of appetite. Sometimes, just before the attack in children is almost completely lost appetite. And at times begins nausea and vomiting.
In addition, there are big and small epileptic seizures. Their expression is very diverse, but strong cramps and downs that are typical of grand mal seizures were observed. It is also different and the duration of epilepsy - Small lasts only a few seconds.
In a sick child suddenly comes a faint, his mind turned off. However, it is returned within a few seconds, the child continues to quietly do the same, what he did before - to play, read, watch TV. Usually, young children do not even understand what happened to them, something happened, and only at a later age, the child is aware of what happened to him that something was going on. Small seizures can be quite regularly - several times a day.
Doctors distinguish various forms of small seizures? However, the most common - it's absence. They are very similar to those which have been described just above - the child stops for a few seconds, losing touch with the outside world. It does not drop, it does not occur convulsions.
Similar forms of epileptic activity typical of most school-age children, and their frequency can reach several dozen a day. Do these guys very much reduced school performance: they become inattentive, and from it may seem that the child at the time of an epileptic seizure just simply preoccupied. Very often the child's notebook, you can watch omissions text - they come just at the time of an epileptic seizure.
Parents, and teachers, it is important to remember about this particular small epileptic seizures. In that case, if the child for no reason at all, without any apparent reason, largely deteriorated school performance, he found gaps in the letter, a faraway look - do not rush to blame and punish the child. Should see a doctor to rule out the possible presence of disease in the child such as this.
In no case should not ignore such phenomena. Much better if doctors examine the child and discover the disease than has been examined, and it will not be diagnosed. Subsequently, a lack of adequate treatment, the disease continues to progress.
Diagnosis of the disease
Due to the fact that the seizures are quite diverse manifestations, diagnosis is often extremely difficult. Often, the description of parents of seizures is very like a true description of the seizures. However, later on, in-depth detailed inspection, the doctor realizes that the fact that the child is not actually suffering from epilepsy.
Typically, if the child is suffering from convulsions, epilepsy and not the causes that cause seizures, will be installed quickly enough. After the child receives the necessary treatment, and the causes are eliminated, the occurrence of seizures in the child ceases.
There is also another type of seizure - febrile. This convulsive symptom occurs on a background of significantly increased body temperature. Usually, such a reaction to hyperthermia is the individual characteristics of the child, and no treatment is required.
The diagnosis in the presence of a child's seizures requires a doctor's qualifications, experience and responsible approach to this issue. The doctor should ask the parents in detail about how long the child has seizures began, how often they last, their duration, especially their occurrence.