What Causes Seizure?

triggers of seizures

On image: triggers of seizures

A seizure is the physical findings or changes in behavior that happen after an episode of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. The term “seizure” is typically used interchangeably with “convulsion.” During convulsions a person has uncontrollable shaking that is rapid and rhythmic, with the muscles contract and relax consistently. There are many different types of seizures. Some have moderate symptoms without shaking.

Nerve cells (nerve cells) in the brain create, send and receive electrical impulses, which allow the brain’s nerve cells to interact. Anything that disrupts these communication pathways can lead to a seizure.

The most typical cause of seizures is epilepsy. However not everyone who has a seizure has epilepsy. Often seizures take place due to the fact that of:

High Fever

Fever is the body’s normal and healthy response to infection and other health problems, both small and severe. It helps the body battle infection. Fever is a symptom, not a disease. In most cases, having a fever indicates you have a minor disease. When you have a fever, your other symptoms will assist you determine how major your health problem is. Temperature levels in this topic are oral temperatures. Oral temperature levels are generally taken in older children and adults.

Lack of Sleep

Sleep deprivation is the second most typical trigger of seizures. In many cases, it has been responsible for the only seizure an individual ever suffers.  Nevertheless, the factor for which sleep deprivation can trigger a seizure is unknown. One possible thought is that the quantity of sleep one gets impacts the quantity of electrical activity in one’s brain. Patients who are scheduled for an EEG test are asked to deprive themselves of some sleep the night before to be able to determine if sleep deprivation may be responsible for seizures. Sometimes, patients with epilepsy are advised to sleep 6-7 successive hours rather than broken-up sleep (e.g., 6 hours during the night and a 2-hour nap) and to avoid caffeine and sleeping tablets in order to prevent seizures.

Low Blood Sodium (Hyponatremia)

Hyponatremia is always a hospital-based diagnosis, but patients may exhibit signs of severe neurologic dysfunction during prehospital evaluation and transport. Address acute deadly conditions and initiate helpful care. Establish trustworthy intravenous gain access to and provide extra oxygen to patients with lethargy or obtundation. In these patients, assess the possibility of hypoglycemia with a rapid glucose check. Administer intravenous glucose to hypoglycemic patients. Administer basic prehospital anticonvulsant therapy to patients experiencing seizures. Seizures secondary to hyponatremia are not likely to respond to this therapy, but it needs to be administered until a conclusive diagnosis and therapy are offered.

Medications

Using certain drugs, both prescribed and recreational, can cause seizures in some people. If a person suspects that her medications cause her seizures, she needs to talk to her doctor first before discontinuing use.

Medications for Mental Health Disorders. Some medications prescribed for mental disorders can cause patients to have seizures if they take more than the dosage recommended by their doctors. For example, buspirone, a drug that treats anxiety, may cause seizures. Chlorpromazine, which treats schizophrenia, a psychological disorder that causes a disconnect with reality, may trigger seizures. Other antipsychotic drugs that can result in seizures include clozapine and haloperidol. An overdose of a tricyclic antidepressant, an older type of antidepressant, can cause seizures. Examples of tricyclic antidepressants include imipramine, amitriptyline and a combination of amitriptyline and chlordiazepoxide. Another antidepressant, buproprion, a type of norepinephrine dopamine reuptake inhibitor, may cause seizures. Lithium, a drug used for bipolar disorder, may also trigger seizures. People who stop using barbiturates, an anti-anxiety medication, after regular use can have seizures.

Antibiotics. Antibiotics work by either killing the bacteria from an infection or preventing their reproduction and spread through the patient’s body. Ppatients who take too much of ceftazidime, ciprofloxacin or imipenem may have seizures. Ingesting high levels of penicillin can also trigger seizures.

Pain Medications. Like other drugs that can cause seizures, taking too much of a pain medication can trigger a seizure. For example, patients who take more than their recommended dosage for tramadol and meperidine may have seizures. Indomethacin, which reduces inflammation along with the pain, is another drug that may cause seizures. Patients who stop using pain medications, like gabapentin and morphine, after large doses may have seizures.

Bleeding in the Brain

A brain hemorrhage is a type of stroke. It’s caused by an artery in the brain bursting and triggering localized bleeding in the surrounding tissues. This bleeding kills brain cells. The Greek root for blood is hemo. Hemorrhage literally means “blood breaking forth.” Brain hemorrhages are likewise called cerebral hemorrhages, intracranial hemorrhages, or intracerebral hemorrhages. They represent about 13% of strokes. When blood from injury aggravates brain tissues, it causes swelling. This is called cerebral edema. The pooled blood collects into a mass called a hematoma. These conditions increase pressure on nearby brain tissue, which decreases vital blood circulation and eliminates brain cells.

Brain Tumor

Seizure is a typical symptom in people with brain tumors. For some people, a seizure might be the first idea that something unusual is happening in the brain. Seizures are particularly common with slow-growing gliomas, meningiomas located in the convexity of the brain, and with metastatic brain tumors. A seizure is an attack caused by irregular electrical activity in the brain. It lasts just a short amount of time and might cause uncommon motions, a modification in the level or loss of awareness, and/or sensory distortions. There are several types of seizures. The type you experience depends on which area of the brain has the irregular electrical signals.

Other Causes and Complications

We can continue the list of possible causes of seizure in adults like illegal or recreational drugs, such as amphetamines or other, alcoholic abuse, etc. Having a seizure at particular times can cause scenarios that are dangerous for you or others. You may be at risk of:

  • Falling. If you fall during a seizure, you can injure your head or break a bone.
  • Drowning. If you have a seizure while swimming or bathing, you’re at risk of accidental drowning.
  • Automobile accidents. A seizure that causes either loss of awareness or control can be dangerous if you’re driving a vehicle or operating other devices.
  • Pregnancy complications. Seizures during pregnancy position threats to both mom and baby, and certain anti-epileptic medications increase the risk of abnormality. If you have epilepsy and plan to become pregnant, work with your doctor so that she or he can adjust your medications and monitor your pregnancy, as needed.
  • Emotional health issues. People with seizures are most likely to have mental issues, such as depression and stress and anxiety. Problems may be a result of troubles dealing with the condition itself along with medication side effects.

Call to doctor ASAP if your seizure continues repeatedly or you can’t explain it.


Last modified: March 8, 2018

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