Posts for tag: Epilepsy
How your neurologist in Winchester, VA, can diagnose and treat epilepsy
Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder in the world, according to the Epilepsy Foundation. The condition involves disturbances in the nerve cells in the brain. These disturbances result in seizures which can be mild to severe. Epilepsy is best diagnosed and treated by a neurologist.
The doctors at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, provide a wide range of neurological services, including diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy.
Epilepsy can be caused by several different factors, including:
- Head trauma
- Brain tumors
- Developmental disorders
- Structural abnormalities in the brain
- Infections, including meningitis and encephalitis
There are several signs and symptoms which may indicate the onset of an epileptic seizure, including:
- Blank staring
- Muscle rigidity
- Uncontrolled jerking of arms and legs
- Loss of consciousness
- A sense of anxiety or fear
A seizure can become a medical emergency and be life threatening. You need to seek out emergency medical care if:
- The seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes
- A second seizure follows right after the first
- A high fever is present
- The person having the seizure is pregnant
- The person having the seizure is diabetic
- An injury occurs during the seizure
- The seizures continue even with anti-seizure medication
Epilepsy is diagnosed with a neurological examination which can include blood tests to determine whether an infection is causing the seizures. Other diagnostic tests include:
An electroencephalogram (EEG) which records electrical activity in your brain
Computerized tomography (CT) scan which provides images of your brain in cross-section
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) which provides detailed images of your brain to identify tumors and other abnormalities.
The standard of treatment for epilepsy is anti-seizure medication. The type of medication prescribed depends on the type and frequency of seizures, and other factors.
Surgery may be recommended if the seizures originate in a small area of the brain that isn’t involved in speaking, motor function, hearing, or vision.
To read more detailed information about epilepsy and the Neurodevelopmental Clinic at Winchester Neurological Consultants, please click here.
To learn more about the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy, talk with the experts. Call the doctors at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA. You can reach them in the office by calling (540) 667-1828, so call today.
If you want to gain an understanding of epilepsy in Winchester, VA, contact the team of Winchester Neurological Consultants to learn more about this complex brain disorder and how it affects people.
A Closer Look at Epilepsy
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 3 million Americans suffer from a form of epilepsy. The disorder can affect any person, but most diagnoses occur in people over the age of 65.
Epilepsy is a category of brain and nervous system disorders that cause electrical surges in the brain. These surges result in uncontrolled cell activity, and people who struggle with the disorder experience problems with their behavior, attention, movement, and their state of consciousness. These problems — or symptoms — are referred to as seizures.
Doctors typically make a diagnosis if a person has had two seizures without another cause. If a person is likely to experience multiple seizures, doctors may make a diagnosis after one episode.
If you had a seizure or multiple seizures and haven't received an epilepsy diagnosis in Winchester, VA, you should contact the team at Winchester Neurological Consultants immediately. The disorder affects people of all genders, ethnicities, and races. The difference in groups is small, so it's critical to seek treatment and not avoid the problem.
Here are some more facts about the disorder:
- Fourth most common neurologic disorder after Alzheimer's disease and strokes
- Men develop the disorder more often than women
- Most diagnoses occur after the age of 20 but can occur in patients as young as two
- Defects related to the disorder are often hereditary
How to Diagnose Epilepsy Early
The first sign of a possible disorder is one or more seizures. In many cases, a seizure is life-threatening. However, the most common symptoms and signs of a seizure include:
- Sudden onset of confusion
- Losing consciousness
- Uncontrolled jerking or twitching
- Uncontrolled eye movement
- Problems speaking
The risk factors and causes of the disorder vary widely. However, some common risk factors include a brain tumor, head trauma, brain infections such as viral encephalitis and meningitis, a stroke, or existing neurologic disorders.
Contact the doctors at Winchester Neurological Consultants by calling (540) 667-1828 if you have questions or concerns about any neurological disorders, including understanding epilepsy in Winchester, VA.
Epilepsy doesn’t come in one form. There are many different types of epilepsy with different symptoms and it’s important to know what kind of epilepsy you’re struggling with so that your doctor knows the best way to treat you. Your doctor at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, can sit down with you and discuss what symptoms you may be having so that you can best learn about the treatments that you may need, what may trigger you, and what to expect in the future.
Types of Epilepsy
Every type of epilepsy is accompanied by seizures, but the type of seizure is what classifies your specific type of epilepsy. Your doctor in Winchester, VA, can help you identify what types you are having to help diagnose which type of epilepsy is affecting you.
The types of epilepsy are:
- Generalized Epilepsy- This is classified by generalized motor seizures and generalized non-motor seizures. Generalized motor seizures are characterized by your body moving in ways you can’t control and possibly losing consciousness and jerking around. Generalized non-motor seizures are often called “absence” seizures because you may typically stop moving and stare into space.
- Focal Epilepsy- Focal epilepsy consists of four different types of seizures; focal aware seizures- you are aware of what is happening, focal impaired awareness seizures- you are confused or unaware of what is happening during your seizure, focal motor seizures- you move around to some extent and possibly twitch or walk around, focal non-motor seizures- you get hit by intense emotions or strange feelings with a racing heart.
- Generalized and Focal Epilepsy- This is characterized by having both generalized and focal seizures.
Contact Your Doctor Today
If you’re struggling with epilepsy, it’s really important to be sure to have your doctor diagnose you with your specific type of epilepsy. If you have any questions or want to set up an appointment, call your doctor at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, at (540) 667-1828 today!
Just diagnosed with epilepsy? Here’s what you should know about your treatment options.
Finding out that you or a loved one has epilepsy can be scary. Fortunately, our team of neurologists provides comprehensive care right here at their epilepsy and neurodevelopmental clinic in Winchester, VA. Here are the ways that we can treat your epilepsy.
Once our neurologists have performed the appropriate tests to detect epilepsy, we will then sit down with you and discuss your treatment options. The most common way to treat epilepsy is with medication. Of course, there are several types of medications on the market that can help control your seizures, and there are a number of factors that we will need to consider, including types of seizures and your age, that could determine which medications will be most effective.
When you receive your medication, our Winchester, VA, neurologists will provide you with detailed instructions on how to take your medication. It’s important that you follow these instructions exactly, as they can affect the efficacy of your treatment. The instructions will tell you when to take your medication, your dosage, what side effects are possible, when to follow-up with our doctors and whether you should take the medication with food or on an empty stomach.
Other Therapies and Treatment Options
Along with medications, there are other ways to control epilepsy. If medications aren’t effective but you would like to avoid brain surgery (or perhaps you’re simply not an ideal candidate for surgery), there are other options available. For example, vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is an electrical device that is placed under the skin and delivers electrical impulses to the brain to lessen the severity and frequency of your seizures.
It’s important that the medications and treatments you receive help to reduce the number and severity of your seizures. This is why it’s important to turn to a qualified team of neurologists here in Winchester, VA, that can work with you to find the right solutions. Let the team at Winchester Neurological Consultants make it easier to live with epilepsy. Call us today at (540) 667-1828.
Does your epilepsy medication make you feel drowsy or nauseated, or even worse, fail to control your seizures? Treatment approaches that work well for one patient aren't necessarily the best choices for other patients. Your Winchester VA neurologists at Winchester Neurological Consultants offer treatments tailored to your condition and needs.
How to find the best treatments for you
Epilepsy doesn't just cause seizures but may increase your risk for depression and anxiety, mood and memory issues, fertility problems, learning disabilities, and migraines. The disorder can affect every area of your life from your social life to your ability to drive or work.
Treating epilepsy and the complications and challenges that can occur if you have the disorder requires a comprehensive treatment method and consultations with a variety of medical professionals. Fortunately, epilepsy centers offer access to a team of experts that includes neurologists, nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, epileptologists, and neurosurgeons. This includes the office in Winchester VA.
Your team will consider your lifestyle, the type of seizures you have, the medications and treatments you've tried before, and your general medical history when making treatment recommendations. During your visit to the Winchester epilepsy center, you'll also discuss your treatment goals. In addition to preventing seizures, you may also want to increase your energy level or improve your ability to focus at work or school.
Treatments may include:
- Medications: Your treatment may involve one or two anti-seizure medications. Your doctor will weigh the effectiveness of the medication with possible side effects before prescribing medications.
- Dietary Changes: The foods you eat may play a role in your seizures. Some people who have epilepsy benefit from following certain diets, including the Low Glycemic Index Diet, Modified Atkins Diet, or Keto Diet.
- Therapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation therapy, and other therapies can help you cope with your condition and make changes that will improve your life.
- Vagus Nerve Stimulator (VNS): Implanted under the skin in your chest, the VNS device sends mild electrical impulses to the brain via the vagus nerve. These impulses prevent seizures.
- Clinical Research Trials: When you're a patient at an epilepsy center, you may be eligible to participate in research trials to test the latest epilepsy treatments.
- Surgery: Surgery might be recommended if you don't notice an improvement in your symptoms after trying other treatments.
Are you unhappy with your current epilepsy treatment? Call your neurologists in Winchester VA at Winchester Neurological Consultants at (540) 667-1828 to schedule your appointment.