Epilepsy can cause various types of seizures, some barely noticeable while others are dramatic and frightening. If you suffer a seizure, talk to board-certified neurologist Jontel Pierce, MD, of Mind Neurology Clinic. At offices in Katy and Sugar Land, Texas, Dr. Pierce and her colleagues offer expert epilepsy diagnosis and treatment. Call Mind Neurology Clinic today or book a consultation via the online scheduling form.
Epilepsy causes seizures — brief changes in your normal brain activity. With some seizures, the person appears to be staring blankly into space. Other seizures cause you to collapse, shake, and jerk uncontrollably, unaware of what’s happening. Seizures last from a few seconds to several minutes, depending on your condition.
Focal seizures come from one area of your brain, while generalized seizures involve all areas. Tonic seizures cause muscle stiffening that typically affects the back, arms, and legs, and you may lose consciousness and fall. Clonic seizures trigger rapid, jerking movements that usually affect your face, neck, and arms.
Tonic-clonic seizures (which doctors used to call grand mal seizures) are the dramatic kind people often think are typical of epilepsy. They combine clonic and tonic symptoms and may also cause loss of bladder control and tongue biting.
Epilepsy may result from a stroke, tumor, infection, or traumatic brain injury (TBI). Neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and genetic conditions such as Down syndrome can also cause epilepsy. Some people have idiopathic epilepsy, meaning the cause is unclear.
You should schedule a consultation at Mind Neurology Clinic after experiencing your first seizure. They can also help if you suffer recurrent seizures and your current treatment isn’t helping.
Diagnosis begins with reviews of your personal and family medical histories and symptoms. Electrodiagnostic medicine procedures like electroencephalography (EEG), electromyography (EMG), and nerve conduction velocity (NCV) tests can be invaluable in diagnosing epilepsy.
Long-term video EEG is often helpful in identifying what your brain is doing during a seizure. You wear the EEG device for several days so it can record seizures as they happen. Your neurologist may perform neuropsychological tests to assess thinking skills, memory, and speech.
CT, MRI, and positron emission tomography (PET) scans can also be useful when diagnosing epilepsy.
Epilepsy treatment typically begins with anti-seizure medications. These reduce the frequency and intensity of your seizures. Your Mind Neurology Clinic provider works closely with you to ensure your medicines help you manage epilepsy without causing adverse effects.
Medications work well for many people, but if they don’t, you might require surgery. Surgery is only suitable if your seizures originate in a clearly-defined part of your brain that won’t affect vision, hearing, speech, and other vital functions when the neurosurgeon removes it.
Call Mind Neurology Clinic or book a consultation online today to get expert epilepsy treatment.