Epilepsy Research Paper BY kayti20 Julia Johnson Adapted PE According to the book Medical Surgical Nursing, epilepsy is defined as “a condition in which a person has spontaneous recurring seizures caused by a chronic underlying condition” (Lewis 1492). This means that epilepsy is diagnosed when a child or adult has two or more seizures that were not caused by any outside source. Seizures can either be conjoined with other disorders, or without any apparent cause(Lewis 1492). Epilepsy in Children is a Journal article that states, “10. 5 million children worldwide re estimated to have active epilepsy'(Lancet 2).
CURE is a non-profit institution that supports the research to find a resolution to this disease. There are two different classifications of seizures that affect all people diagnosed with epilepsy which include generalized and partial seizures. This paper will briefly explain the types of seizures, complications with this disorder and how it will affect the child physically, socially and cognitively. Therapies and cures to help children with this disease will also be introduced as this paper will assist in teaching a teacher how to cope with an pileptic student in the classroom.
In most situations generalized seizures deal with both sides of the brain and have some type of altered consciousness to the brain, whereas partial seizures deal with one side of the brain and there is usually no altered consciousness. (sl p1492/1493) When a person has a Tonic-clonic seizure their body will stiffen for approximately 10-20 seconds and then twitch for 30-40 seconds. This is the most common generalized seizure which causes the child to be overly tired and sore. Typical absence seizure is seen only in children and usually no older than the adolescent age.
This seizure is many times gone unseen as the child will just have a frozen stare for a few seconds but can occur up to 100 times a day. (sl pg1493) The last generalized seizure is atypical which also include the frozen stare, but comes along with other symptoms such as unusual behavior during seizure and confusion afterwards. (sl pg1493) Partial seizures are unilateral and sometimes cause paresthesias, tingling or numbing in the leg opposite to the part of the brain having trouble/distress. These unilateral seizures include simple partial seizures and complex partial seizures.
These two differ in the amount of time the eizure continues. For instance, simple partial usually last less than one minute whereas complex partial seizures last longer than 1 minute(Lewis1493). The main identifier ot a complex partial seizure is having contusion atterwards. Now that the different types of seizures are known, one should learn how to cope with an individual who has epilepsy inside the classroom. The 3 most important safety procedures to know when a seizure is occurring is to protect students head by easing them to the floor if possible, do not restraining the student, and do not place any objects in the patients mouth. 499) Lewis states, “Most seizures do not require professional emergency medical care because they are self-limiting and rarely cause bodily harm”(Lancet 499). Basically, this means that most seizures that occur will not do harm a student and will not require medical attention, nevertheless if they fall and hit their head or any bodily harm is present medical attention should be seeked immediately. Most students with an epilepsy disorder deal with both physical and psychosocial problems.
An example of a physical problem would be status epilepticus which is mentioned in the Medical Surgical Nursing book states that, Status epilepticus is a state of continuous seizure activity or a condition where seizures occur in a rapid succession without return to consciousness between seizures”(Lewis 1493). This is one of the most serious complications that happen in students with epilepsy and they will need medical attention. Status epilepticus can cause physical bodily harm such as brain damage, ventillary problems, and cardiac problems.
Not only does epilepsy cause physical problems in students, it also effects their social and cognitive development. Since seizures have the capability to disturb a erson physically this can affect the way a child does things on their own such as eating, going to the bathroom, or even walking properly. Activities of the students daily life come into play in which they may need more assistance from the teacher than other students in the class. This can play a role in is social or cognitive development as the child notices differences between themselves and their peers.
For example, if a child notices other students progressing in their studies and sees other students doing physical activities that they cannot perform the epileptic child might become discouraged. In a teaching position, one should be aware of this and help encourage the student with epilepsy. This may give them enough confidence to see the positives and focus more on what they are capable of doing instead. Epilepsy is common in children and parents are coming together to decrease the great percentages of children that are effected by epilepsy. Two of the most popular ways to treat epilepsy is through drug therapy and surgical therapy.
In order to get prescribed for any drugs, one must have been analyzed socially, physically, and psychologically as the diagnosis of what type of epilepsy is important. When requesting treatment, most doctors ask for health history and a comprehensive description of the types of seizures the child usually has. Abnormal findings are the most helpful as they help the doctor to pinpoint what seizures the patient is having so they can get treated properly. Sometimes the doctor will request an EEG on a patient which will help to identify abnormalities, but this test can also be inaccurate in some cases.
Lewis states, If a patient is diagnosed with a seizure disorder, it is very important to classify the seizure type correctly. (1495)” Other tests such as complete lood counts, PET scans, CT scans, and MRI’s can also be done to help specify what type of seizure the child has in orderly to properly medicate them(Lewis 1497). Epilepsy is usually treated witn antiseizure drugs such as Kolnopin, Tegretol, and Depakote. These medications are focused on preventing a seizure to occur instead of ridding the disease because there is no cure for epilepsy today.
Most of these drugs work by stabilizing the nerve cells and preventing the epileptic discharge(Lewis1495). Some of the side effects noticed in drug therapy are diplopia, drowsiness, ataxia, and mental slowing. Also neurological problems including gait coordination, cognitive functioning, and general alertness. According to this study, approximately two thirds of the epilepsy population is taken care of by drugs. Some do have to take multiple drugs to become seizure-free, but the numbers cured keep on increasing. Drug therapy in epilepsy children is controlled by age, weight, type, frequency and cause of seizure.
In order to keep the seizure numbers down, drugs are continually increased until toxic side effects are seen in the patient(Brodie 314). As seen, most children can be seizure-free from drug therapy; however, thirty-six percent of pilepsy patients need more than Just drug therapy which would be followed by surgical therapy. Surgical therapy is especially reserved for those patients who have tried drug therapy and it does not work. There are a few different types of surgical interventions which include limbic resection, anterior temporal lobe resection, amygdalohippocampectomy, neocortical resection, and extratemporal resection.
Lewis states, “The benefits of surgery include cessation or reduction in frequency of seizures”(Lewis 1497). Preoperative evaluation is most important in these cases to ake sure the doctor is very precise on knowing the focal point of the seizures. Also, before surgery is performed three requirements must be met: 1) Diagnosis of epilepsy must be confirmed 2) An adequate trial of drug therapy must have been met without satisfactory results 3) Electroclinical syndrome must be defined All of these must be met to confirm the doctor that one is a qualified patient for the surgery.
Since this is an invasive procedure, the doctor has to make sure everything will run smoothly. Lastly, surgical therapy has been proven to decrease the amount of seizures in patients, but still has some patients that cannot be cured. Still this day people are doing research to try and find a cure for epileptic patients. Besides for drug therapy and surgical intervention there are a few other therapies out there striving to cure this disease. Vagal nerve stimulation is used alongside drug therapy and can prevent excessive discharge of neurons in the brain that cause seizures to occur.
A ketogenic diet can also help decrease the frequency of seizures and has been found to work mostly in children. Long-term effects for the diet are still unknown. Lastly, biofeedback works to control seizures and is seen to help patients ontrol their brainwaves even though doctors are not yet sure about its effectiveness yet. Altogether this disease is affecting families all around us today. Unfortunately there has not been a definite cure found. This disease affects children physically, socially and cognitively as it slows down their learning processes.
Students are still able to notice others in the classroom succeeding as they are struggling to accomplish simple tasks such as walking and writing. These disabilities caused by epilepsy can destroy a child socially and cognitively. As teachers, we need to be able o notice these signs and give these students more encouragement throughout the day. Also, as teachers we need to notice signs ot a seizure such as blank stares, chewing, fumbling, shaking, and confused speech.
These are all signs of epilepsy and can often go unnoticed. In the case that a student does have a seizure in the classroom, the teacher must also remember the three most important safety procedures which are to protect students head by easing them to the floor if possible, do not restraining the student, and do not place any objects in the patients mouth. Therapies and cures can help children deal with this disease and are shown o decrease the frequency of seizures.
Even though drug therapy only helps two- thirds of the epileptic population, surgical intervention has been proven to help most of those who are drug resistant. Everyday parents are coming together to find a specific cure for all epileptic patients and doctors are getting closer and closer each day. References 1) “Epilepsy In Children. ” The Lancet 253. 6542 (1949): 499-524. print. 2) Lewis, Sharon Mantik. Medical-surgical Nursing: Assessment and Management of Clinical Problems. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier/Mosby, 2011. Print. 3) Broadie, Kwan. English Journal of Medicine: pgs 314-319.