(Information provided by The Neurological Centre, Westmead, Australia. Anyone with serious questions about Epilepsy should consult their doctor. All information is © 1993 Helke Pty Ltd and should not be reproduced without permission.)
Most people who develop seizures during their earlier years tend to experience a reduction in the intensity and frequency of their seizures as they grow older. In many cases the Epilepsy will disappear completely.
Caused by Brain Injury
Injury to the brain may certainly cause
epilepsy. This includes deprivation of oxygen at birth, trauma to
the head at any time of life, and stroke (injury to part of the
brain caused by blockage or haemorrhage of one of its blood
Emotional Stress a Factor
A person with epilepsy may experience an increased frequency of seizures during periods of intense emotional stress.
Description of Tonic-clonic seizures
Tonic-clonic seizures were previously called "grand mal" attacks (from French, meaning "big sickness"). The episodes are dramatic. There may be a brief warning consisting of a feeling of sinking or rising in the pit of the stomach, or the person may cry out or groan before losing consciousness completely. The limbs become stiff and rigid, and breathing stops, causing the lips to go blue. The eyes are rolled upward, and the jaws are clenched - if the tongue or lips are in the way, they will be bitten. This "tonic phase" is followed, within 30 to 60 seconds by the "clonic phase", in which the body is a shaken by a series of violent, rhythmic jerkings of the limbs. These usually cease after a couple of minutes. The person then recovers consciousness, but may be confused for several minutes, and wishes to sleep for an hour or two afterward.