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Epilepsy (from the

Ancient Greek
epilpsa) is
a common chronic
neurological disorder
characterized by
unprovoked seizures.

History and stigma

The word epilepsy is derived from the
Ancient Greek epilpsa, which
was from epilambnein "to
take hold of", which in turn was combined
from ep "upon" and
lambnein "to take".
"Sacred Disease"
'disease of the assembly hall'


Epilepsies are classified in five ways:

By their first cause (or etiology).
By the observable manifestations of the seizures,
known as semiology.
By the location in the brain where the seizures
As a part of discrete, identifiable medical
By the event that triggers the seizures, as in
primary reading epilepsy or musicogenic epilepsy.

International League Against Epilep
1. ictal phenomenon,(pertaining to an
epileptic seizure)
2. seizure type,
3. syndrome,
4. etiology,
5. impairment.

Certain epilepsy
Photosensitive epilepsy
Emotional stress, sleep deprivation, sleep
itself, and febrile illness are examples of
precipitants cited by patients with epilepsy.
Catamenial epilepsy

Example of EEG


The prevalence of active epilepsy is roughly in

the range 510 per 1000 people.
Up to 5% of people experience non febrile
seizures at some point in life; epilepsy's lifetime
prevalence is relatively high because most
patients either stop having seizures or (less
commonly) die of it.
Epilepsy's approximate annual incidence rate is
4070 per 100,000 in industrialized countries
and 100190 per 100,000 in resource-poor
countries; socioeconomically deprived people
are at higher risk.

Seizure types
Partial or focal seizures
Generalized seizures
Simple partial seizure
Complex partial (psychomotor) seizure
Generalized seizures: absence (petit mal),
myoclonic, clonic, tonic, tonic-clonic
(grand mal) and atonic seizures

Children may exhibit behaviors that are

easily mistaken for epileptic seizures but are
not caused by epilepsy

Inattentive staring
Benign shudders (among children younger than
age 2, usually when they are tired or excited)
Self-gratification behaviors (nodding, rocking,
head banging)
Conversion disorder (flailing and jerking of the
head, often in response to severe personal
stress such as physical abuse)

Epilepsy syndromes

Absence seizures
atonic seizures
benign Rolandic epilepsy
childhood absence
clonic seizures
Juvenile Absence Epilepsy
lennox-gastaut syndrom
Landau-Kleffner Syndrome
myoclonic seizures

complex partial seizures

frontal lobe epilepsy
Febrile seizures
Infantile spasms
Juvenile Myoclonic
Progressive Myoclonic
Psychogenic Seizures
Reflex Epilepsy
Simple Partial seizures

Partial epilepsy

., 2003

--Syndromes are
divided into
epilepsies, or
epilepsies of

-- Epilepsy

are further divided by
presumptive cause:
symptomatic, and

Below are some common seizure syndromes:

Autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe ep


Catamenial epilepsy
Childhood absence epilepsy
Frontal lobe epilepsy
Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy
Lennox-Gastaut syndrome
Progressive myoclonic epilepsies
Symptomatic localization-related epilepsies
Temporal lobe epilepsy
West syndrome


Epilepsy is usually treated with medication

prescribed by a physician; primary caregivers,
neurologists, and neurosurgeons all frequently
care for people with epilepsy. In some cases the
implantation of a stimulator of the vagus nerve,
or a special diet can be helpful. Neurosurgical
operations for epilepsy can be palliative,
reducing the frequency or severity of seizures;
or, in some patients, an operation can be

status epilepticus

a dangerous condition requiring hospitalization

and emergency treatment.
Objects should never be placed in a person's
mouth by anybody - including paramedics during a seizure as this could result in serious
injury to either party. Despite common folklore, it
is not possible for a person to swallow their own
tongue during a seizure. However, it is possible
that the person will bite their own tongue,
especially if an object is placed in the mouth.

Pharmacologic treatment

anticonvulsant medication treatment will be lifelong

carbamazepine (Tegretol), clorazepate

(Tranxene), clonazepam (Klonopin),
ethosuximide (Zarontin), felbamate (Felbatol),
fosphenytoin (Cerebyx), gabapentin (Neurontin),
lacosamide (Vimpat), lamotrigine (Lamictal),
levetiracetam (Keppra), oxcarbazepine
(Trileptal), phenobarbital (Luminal), phenytoin
(Dilantin), pregabalin (Lyrica), primidone
(Mysoline), tiagabine (Gabitril), topiramate
(Topamax), valproate semisodium (Depakote),
valproic acid (Depakene), and zonisamide


Effectiveness - 50% of
the patient treatment
group had at least a 50%
improvement in the rate of
epileptic seizures. About
20% of patients with
epilepsy continue to have
breakthrough epileptic
seizures despite best
anticonvulsant treatment.

88% of patients with

epilepsy, in a European
survey, reported at least
one anticonvulsant related
side effect: mood changes,
sleepiness, or
unsteadiness in gait, drug
rashes, liver toxicity
(hepatitis), or aplastic
anemia, the consideration
of teratogenicity.

Surgical treatment

Epilepsy surgery is an
option for patients whose
seizures remain resistant
to treatment with
medications who also
have symptomatic

Resection of lesions like

tumors or arteriovenous
Anterior temporal
Selective amygdalahippocampectomy
callosotomy or
Multiple subpial

Other treatment

Ketogenic diet
Electrical stimulation
Vagus nerve stimulation
Responsive Neurostimulator System
Deep brain stimulation
Noninvasive surgery
Avoidance therapy
Warning systems
Alternative or complementary medicine

Mutations in several genes
Abnormal mass of tissue in an area of the

Many jurisdictions forbid certain activities to

persons suffering from epilepsy.
In the U.S., people with epilepsy can drive if their
seizures are controlled with treatment and they
meet the licensing requirements in their state.
In the UK, it is the responsibility of the patients to
inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
if they have epilepsy.
Persons with a history of epilepsy are usually
prohibited from piloting aircraft, unless it can be
shown beyond a reasonable doubt that future
seizures are extremely improbable.

Vascular Dementia

Vascular dementia is the second most

common form of dementia after Alzheimer
disease (AD). The condition is not a single
disease; it is a group of syndromes relating
to different vascular mechanisms. Vascular
dementia is preventable; therefore, early
detection and an accurate diagnosis are

Vascular disease produces either focal or diffuse

effects on the brain and causes cognitive decline.
Focal cerebrovascular disease occurs secondary
to thrombotic or embolic vascular occlusions.
Common areas of the brain associated with
cognitive decline are the white matter of the
cerebral hemispheres and the deep gray nuclei,
especially the striatum and the thalamus.
Hypertension is the major cause of diffuse
disease, and, in many patients, both focal and
diffuse disease are observed together. The 3
most common mechanisms of vascular dementia
are multiple cortical infarcts, a strategic single
infarct, and small vessel disease.

multiinfarct dementia
single-infarct dementia
Binswanger disease
lacunar state
vascular dementia


Vascular dementia is the second most common cause of dementia in the

United States and Europe, but it is the most common form in some parts of
The prevalence rate of vascular dementia is 1.5% in Western countries and
approximately 2.2% in Japan.
In Japan, it accounts for 50% of all dementias that occur in individuals
older than 65 years.
In Europe, vascular dementia and mixed dementia account for
approximately 20% and 40% of cases, respectively.
In Latin America, 15% of all dementias are vascular.
In community-based studies in Australia, the prevalence rate for vascular
and mixed dementia is 13% and 28%, respectively.
The prevalence rate of dementia is 9 times higher in patients who have had
a stroke than in controls.
One year after a stroke, 25% of patients develop new-onset dementia.
Within 4 years following a stroke, the relative risk of incident dementia is

The prevalence of vascular dementia
is higher in men than in women.
Incidence increases with age.

Binswanger disease

The average age of onset is between the

fourth and seventh decades of life, and 80% of
patients have a history of hypertension.
Patients also show progressive motor,
cognitive, mood, and behavioral changes over a
period of 5-10 years. Mood and behavioral
changes are observed early and, in some
patients, may be the presenting feature.
Patients may be apathetic or abulic.
Intellectual deficits are also observed early in
the disease, and patients are frequently
described as confused, inattentive, and vague.
Patients with Binswanger dementia often have
early-onset urinary incontinence and gait

Cerebral autosomal
dominant arteriopathy
The onset of the disease occurs
between the third and fourth decades
of life.
The clinical picture is similar to
Binswanger disease but without a
history of hypertension and risk factors
for cerebrovascular disease.

Vascular dementia in
Patients with vascular dementia commonly have
mood and behavioral changes.
Severe depression is more common in persons
with vascular dementia than in those with AD.
In some patients with lacunar state and
Binswanger disease, such problems may be
more prominent than intellectual deficits.
Even psychotic symptoms, particularly
delusions, have been described in patients with
vascular dementia.

The Folstein Mini-Mental State




The DSM-IV diagnostic criteria

The patient has developed multiple cognitive deficits
manifesting as both (1) memory impairment and (2)
one or more of the following cognitive disturbances:
aphasia, apraxia, agnosia, and disturbance in
executive functioning.
The cognitive deficits in the above criteria cause
significant impairment in social or occupational
functioning and represent a significant decline from
the previous level of functioning.
Focal neurological signs and symptoms or radiological
evidence indicative of cerebrovascular disease are
present that are judged to be etiologically related to
the dementia.
The deficits do not occur exclusively during the
course of delirium.

Risk factors for vascular dementia
hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, and
cardiovascular and cerebrovascular

Medical Care

Recent guidelines from the American

Psychiatric Association provide both
treatment principles and possible specific

Drug treatment is primarily used to prevent

further worsening of vascular dementia by
treating the underlying disease such as
hypertension and diabetes.

The general management of dementia

includes appropriate referral to community
services, judgment and decision making
regarding legal and ethical issues (eg,
driving, competency, advance directives),
and consideration of caregiver stress.


In the Rotterdam study, an

increased risk of vascular
dementia was associated with
total fat intake, whereas fish
related to dementia. Low levels
of folate, vitamin B-6, and
vitamin B-12 are associated with
increased homocysteine levels,
a risk factor for stroke.


According to some studies, vascular

dementia shortens life expectancy by
approximately 50% in men, in
persons with lower education, and in
persons who perform worse on
neuropsychological tests.
The causes of death are due to
complications of dementia,
cardiovascular disease, and
miscellaneous factors, including

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