What is a Non-Epileptic Seizure?

Did you know that there are seizures that are not due to epilepsy? Since November is Epilepsy Awareness Month, I thought this would be a great opportunity to share information on non-epileptic seizures. It is especially important to know about non-epileptic seizures since 1 in 5 people diagnosed are later found to have non-epileptic seizures.

What is a Non-Epileptic Seizure?

A non-epileptic seizure displays characteristics similar to epilepsy seizures by mimicking similar signs and symptoms including control over their body through shaking movements, blacking out and falling. From the outside, the signs look similar however, the causes are quite different. Non-epileptic seizures, also known as non-epileptic attack disorders (NEAD) tend to resemble a seizure however, they are not caused by electrical impulses in the brain, rather it may be due to an overload of stress including a death in the family, abuse and past painful experiences, causing some to have difficulty handling thoughts and memories in the brain.

What are the Signs and Symptoms?

While the signs differ for each person, a common sign mirrors tonic-clonic seizures involving similar movement including the shaking of the arms, legs and head. Small differences include the person tends to have their eyes closed during the attack which generally last longer than an epileptic seizure.

Who is likely to have a non-epileptic seizure?

Although non-epilepsy seizures can occur to anyone, at any age, studies found people with non-epileptic seizures are:

  • More common in women
  • More common in people experiencing depression and anxiety
  • Likely to occur to people who experience an emotional, stressful event
  • More likely to start in young adults.
Diagnosing Non-Epileptic Seizures

The most effective way for neurologist to diagnose a non-epileptic seizure is through a series of test including personal history, medical history and an electroencephalogram (EEG) used to detect abnormal electrical discharges (would not show up in a person diagnosed with non-epileptic seizures).

Treatment

Treatment is based on the cause of the seizures. Options may include:

  • Medication (antidepressants)
  • psychotherapy
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
  • Counseling
References

Cleveland Clinic

Epilepsy.org.uk

Non-Epileptic Attacks.Info

Wikipedia

 

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Children and Ring Chromosome 20 Syndrome

What is Ring Chromosome 20 Syndrome?

Ring Chromosome 20 Syndrome is a chromosomal disorder that is the result of a ring that develops when a chromosome breaks in two places and the short arm of a chromosome has merged with the tip of the long arm.

This anomaly causes recurrent seizures during childhood. It is reported that the seizure can occur at anytime from during the day time to sleeping at night, it is very rare. In fact only 50 cases have been reported in research journals. However, this form of epilepsy can occur from birth to 17 years old.

What makes this rare form of seizures unique is that it does not respond to anti-epileptic medication. Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) tends to be successful as well as the Ketogenic diet in reducing the number of seizures.

Children diagnosed with Ring Chromosome 20 Syndrome typically experience several types of seizures including:

  • Focal seizure
  • Non-convulsive status epilepticus
  • Frontal lobe seizures
  • Tonic seizures
  • Generalized tonic-clonic seizures
Signs and Symptoms

Children with Ring Chromosome 20 Syndrome generally face challenges in the area of behavioral, learning disabilities and intellectual disabilities. In some instances, children may display physical characteristics including slow growth, short stature and a small size head.

Signs and Symptoms of Intellectual Disability
  • Decrease learning ability
  • Delays in crawling
  • Difficulty solving problems
  • Lack of curiosity
  • Language and speech delays
  • Poor motor skills
  • Short attention span
Teaching Strategies
  • Use short and simple sentences
  • Repeat directions
  • use strategies for remembering such as clustering information together
  • Provide immediate feedback
Signs and Symptoms of learning disabilities
  • Difficulty recognizing non-verbal cues such as facial expression
  • Fine motor skills difficulty
  • Weak visual discrimination abilities.
Teaching Strategies
  • Use a multi-sensory approach
  • Break into small steps
  • use probing techniques
  • use diagrams and pictures.
References

Genetics Home Reference

Rare Chromosome Organization

Wikipedia

Epilepsy Seizures May Promote Autism Symptoms in Angleman Syndrome, Study Finds

Epilepsy Seizures May Promote Autism Symptoms in Angelman Syndrome, Study Finds
Written by: Patricia Inacio. Ph.d
Published by: Angelman Syndrome News

Epileptic seizures contribute more than previously thought to autism symptoms in patients with Angelman syndrome, according to researchers.

The study, “Effect of epilepsy on autism symptoms in Angelman syndrome,” was published in the journal Molecular Autism. Autism and epilepsy often co-occur in patients with Angelman syndrome, but the extent to which the association between autism symptoms and epilepsy is due to shared aetiology or to the direct effects of seizures was unclear. Click here to the rest of the story.

Helping Children Understand Person First Language


Pubished by: ASD
Written By: Nicole Dezarn

Person first language is an important ethical matter often discussed in the field of special education and disability advocacy. The idea that the important descriptor for a person is not their disability but that the disability is something that the person has is fundamental in framing the mindset that having a disability doesn’t mean that a person is less or incapable of success. It can be challenging enough to broach this subject with adults but how do we help children to understand what person first language means and why it is so important? I felt it might be helpful to share an approach with which I have had success. Click here to read the rest of the story

Epilepsy Driving and State Regulations

Driving can be challenging for people who have a seizure disorder. Accidents may occur due to a seizure disorder which puts the person at risk. In the United States, each State has specific guidelines and laws on the requirement for driving once the person is seizure-free.

Most people are able to drive again once their seizures are under control. In some States, a letter from the doctor is required. Below are regulations for each State:

State Regulations

Alabama- 6 Months with exceptions

Alaska- 6 Months

Arizona- 3 Months with exceptions

Arkansas- 1 year

California- 3, 6 moths with exception

Colorado- No set seizure- free period

Connecticut- Not set seizure- free period

Delaware- Not set seizure- free period

District of Columbia- 1 year

Florida- Upon Doctor’s recommendation

Georgia- 6 Months

Hawaii- 6 months with exception

Idaho- 6 months with strong recommendation from doctor

Illinois- No set seizure- free period

Iowa- 6 months less if seizure nocturnal

Kansas- 6 months less if seizure nocturnal

Kentucky- 90 days

Louisiana- 6 months with doctor statement

Maine- 3 months or longer

Maryland- No set seizure- free period

Massachusetts- 6 months- less with doctor statement

Michigan- 6 months- less at discretion of department

Minnesota- 6 months with exception

Mississippi- 1 year

Missouri- 6 months with doctor recommendation

Montana- No set seizure- free period, doctor recommendation

Nebraska- 3 months

Nevada- 3 months with exception

New Hampshire- 1 year/ less- discretion of the department

New Jersey- 1 year: less on recommendation of committee

New Mexico- 1 year, less on recommendation of advisory board

New York- 1 year with exception

North Carolina- 6-12, with exception

North Dakota- 6 months, restricted license possible after 3 months

Ohio- No set seizure free period

Oklahoma- 6 months

Oregon- 6 months with exception

Pennsylvania-  6 months with exception

Puerto Rico- No set seizure- free period

Rhode Island- 18 months. Less with doctor recommendation

South Carolina- 6 months

South Dakota- 6-12 months less with doctor recommendation

Tennessee- 6 months with acceptable medical form

Texas- 6 months with doctor recommendation

Utah- 3 months

Vermont- No set seizure – free period

Virginia – 6 months with exception

Washington- 6 months with exception

West Virginia- 1 year with exception

Wisconsin- 3 months, with acceptable medical form

Wyoming- 3 months

 

 

What To Do When Someone Has A Seizure

shutterstock_epilespy

Over a lifetime, 1 in 26 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy. More than 30% of people with epilepsy will experience generalized seizures. When providing first aid for seizures, try to keep calm and make sure the person having the seizure is comfortable and safe from harm.

Call 911 if:

  • The person has never had a seizure before.
  • the person has difficulty breathing or waking after the seizure.
  • The seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes.
  • The person has a seizure back- to- back.
  • The person is injured during the seizure.
  • The person has an additional condition like diabetes, or heart disease.
  • Ease the person to the floor.
  • Turn the person gently onto the side (this will help the person breathe).
  • Clear the area around the person of anything hard or sharp
  • Put something soft and flat, like a folded jacket, under his or her head.
  • Loosen ties or anything around the neck including button on a shirt.
  • Time the seizure.

Do Not:

  • Do not hold the person down or try to stop his or her movements.
  • Do not put anything in the person’s mouth. This can injure teeth or the jaw. A person having a seizure cannot swallow his or her tongue.
  • Do not try to give mouth-to-mouth breaths (CPR). People usually start breathing again on their own after a seizure.
  • Do not offer the person water or food until he or she is fully alert.

After the seizure:

After the seizure ends, the person will probably be groggy and tired. He or she also may have a headache and be confused or embarrassed. Try to help the person find a place to rest. If necessary, offer to call a taxi, a friend, or a relative to help the person get home safely.

Don’t try to stop the person from wandering unless he or she is in danger.

Don’t shake the person or shout.

Stay with the person until he or she is completely alert.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Apps For Tracking Seizures

Seizure apps are available on both iTunes and Android which journals seizure episodes. This allows people with epilepsy and parents to keep an accurate record of seizure occurrences.

Most apps include the following features.

  • Time and visually record seizures as they happen
  • Automatically add recorded seizures to the library
  • Help request are sent to your emergency contacts with your current locations
  • Information is organized into graphs to share with your medial provider

seizure-apps

All of the apps below are free, You will just need to download onto your phone.

iTunes

EpiDiary

Epilepsia App

Epilepsy Foundation- My Seizure Diary

Epilepsy Ireland Diary

Epilepsy Toolkit

EpiWatch

Neutun

SeizAlarm

Seizure Watch

Track It

Young Epilepsy

Android

Dr. Epilepsy

Epi Diary

Epilepsy App

Epilepsy Foundation

Epilepsy Help

Epilepsy Ireland Diary

Epilepsy Journal

Epilepsy Tool Kit

Epilepsy Tracker

My Seizure Diary

Seizure Alert and Recorder

Seizure Now

Soterria Seizure Alert

Android- Cost.

Seizure Now- .99

 

 

 

 

# 3 This also can be called Disability discrimination — Don’t Dis their Ability

Hi everyone how is your day? For many of you, I know nobody want to admit he/she is discriminating people with disability, because some people did not realise that their behaviours can be called indirect discrimination; others who discriminate directly actually know it goes against and destroys the moral, which becomes a trend of weakness […]

via # 3 This also can be called Disability discrimination — Don’t Dis their Ability

Epilepsy Facts

Epilepsy is a disorder of the central nervous system often caused by abnormal electrical discharges that develop into seizures. The following are additional facts on epilepsy and seizures:

30-epilepsy-facts

  • More people live with epilepsy than autism, spectrum disorders, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy combined.
  • You can’t swallow your tongue during a seizure. It is physically impossible.
  • You should never force something into the mouth of someone having a seizure.
  • Don’t restrain someone having a seizure.
  • Epilepsy is not contagious .
  • Anyone can develop epilepsy.
  • Epilepsy is not rare.
  • 1 in 26 Americans will develop epilepsy in their lifetime.4An estimated 3 million Americans and 65 million people worldwide live with epilepsy.
  • In 2/3 of patients diagnosed with epilepsy, the cause is unknown.
  • Up to 50,000 deaths occur annually in the U.S. from status epilepticus (prolonged seizures). (SUDEP) and other seizure-related causes such as drowning and other accidents.
  • SUDEP accounts for 34% of all sudden deaths in children.
  • Epilepsy costs the U.S. approximately 15.5 billion each year.
  • A seizure is a transient disruption of brain function due to abnormal and excessive electrical discharges in brain cells.
  • Epilepsy is a disease of the brain that predisposes a person to excessive electrical discharges in the brain cell.
  • It is diagnosed when 2 or more unprovoked seizures have occurred.
  • It must be at least 2 unprovoked seizures more than 24 hours apart.
  • About 14% have simple partial seizures.
  • 36% have complex partial seizures.
  • 5% have tonic-clonic seizures.
  • Seizures can be caused by head trauma, stokes, brain tumor and a brain infection.
  • Causes are unknown in 60 to 70% of cases.
  • The prevalence is 1% of the U.S. population.
  • Approximately 2.2 to 3 million in the U.S. have seizures.
  • It affects all ages, socioeconomic and racial groups.
  • Incidents are higher in children and older adults.
  • Seizures can range from momentarily blanks to loss of awareness
  • Almost 150,000 people in the U.S. develop epilepsy every year.
  • No gender is likely to develop than others.
  • 1/3 of individuals with autism spectrum disorders also have epilepsy.
  • The prevalence of epilepsy in people with an intellectual disability is higher than the general population.

Epilepsy- General Information

Epilepsy is a chronic disorder of the central nervous system. It is often characterized by seizures and is the fourth most common neurological disorder and affects people of all ages.

epilepsy ribbon

A person is considered to have epilepsy if they meet any of the following conditions:

  1. At least two unprovoked seizures occurring greater than 24 hours apart.
  2. One unprovoked seizure and after two unprovoked seizures occurring over the next 10 years.
  3. Diagnosis of an epilepsy syndrome.
Seizures

A seizure is caused by a burst of abnormal activity in the brain. With a seizure, a person has change in awareness, behavior, body movement or sensation. A seizure can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. Seizures can take on many different forms and affect people in different ways.

Auras

Auras are often describes as a warning before the occurrence of a seizure. Not everyone experiences an aura. Some have described it as a change in feeling, sensation, thought or behaviors. this may include:

  • An overpowering smell.
  • Nausea or indigestion.
  • A rising/sinking feeling in the stomach.
  • a sleepy/dreamy feeling.
Types of Seizures

Generalized Tonic Clonic Seizures. Involves the entire brain. May also be referred to as a grand mal seizure. This occurs when abnormal electrical activity affects all or most of the brain. often the body will stiffen and then the person will lose consciousness and then the body will shake due to uncontrollable muscle contractions.

Absence Seizure– A brief loss of consciousness or awareness. It generally last only seconds and mainly occurs in children. Signs may include a blank stare, lip smacking and repeated blinking, chewing or hand movement.

Focal Seizures– The burst of electrical activity is contain in one part of the brain. In a simple focal seizure, you may have muscular jerks or strange sensations in one arm or leg. The person does not lose consciousness or awareness.

Causes
  • brain trauma
  • genetics
  • stroke
  • tumors
  • brain infections
  • head injury.
Risk Factors
  • Babies who are born small for their age
  • Babies who have seizures in the first month of life
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Conditions with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • Family history of epilepsy (febrile)
Triggering Factors
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Lack of sleep or tiredness
  • Skipping meals
  • Alcohol intake
  • Flickering lights
  • Fever
  • Caffeine
Diagnosis
Treatment

 

The following websites offer additional information on epilepsy including causes, symptoms, treatment, and diagnosis:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Epilepsy Foundation

Mayo Clinic

Medical News Today

Medlineplus

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke 

WebMD

Wikipedia

None of the information provided is meant to treat or diagnose any conditions. Not is it a substitute for medical, or psychological diagnosis and treatment.