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Epilepsy Research Paper - Medical Assisting

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Epilepsy Research Paper

Cassidy Reynolds

Medical Assisting

What is Epilepsy? Most people think that it’s a condition when a person passes out of loses control of their body. The people that have epilepsy have a hard time coping with it and its unknown when the seizures will happen. The formal definition of Epilepsy is “A brain disorder in which clusters of nerve cells signal abnormally”.

There are two main categories of seizures: Generalized and Partial. Generalized seizures are produced by electrical impulses from throughout the entire brain. Partial seizures are produced by electrical impulses in relatively small parts of the brain. Most people have Partial seizures and most people have it from birth.

There are six main categories of Generalized seizures with different symptoms. The most common seizure is the “Grand Mal”, also known as a generalized tonic-clonic. This is the seizure where they go unconscious, they have no control of their body, they shake uncontrollably, their muscles tighten up, and can even go into a deep sleep called a “Postictal” state. People have urinary and bowel incontinence and cause injury to their self.

The second category is the Absence Seizure, during these seizures people lose consciousness for only a short period of time. There are usually no symptoms to this besides a loss of time. This type of seizure is occasionally in adults. However, it is mostly involved with children. It is a rare form of epilepsy.

The third category is the Myoclonic seizure. This type of seizure consists of continuous jerking motions from the people’s muscles and tightening of muscles. The jerking is an effect from the brain sending the wrong signals throughout the body. This can sometimes cause a loss of consciousness.

        The third category is the Myoclonic Seizure, this consist of jerking of muscles, may cause loss of consciousness. People describe the jerking as brief electrical shocks.

The fourth category is the Clonic Seizures; where it’s like a rhythmic, repeated jerking motion on every part of their body for a long period of time.

The fifth category is Tonic Seizures; they are usually characterized by muscle stiffness and rigidity.

The sixth category is the Atonic Seizure the least of all the seizures it is a sudden loss of muscle tone in the arms and legs causing the person to fall.

As you can see the worst case of the generalized seizures is the “grand mal” and then the symptoms slowly start to go down to loss of muscle use in the Atonic seizure. There is another category of seizures that is known as the Partial Seizures. These are the seizures that involve one or several parts of the brain than the whole brain. Partial seizures are also broken down into Simple and complex seizures. Simple partial seizure patients gain awareness and complex seizure patients’ loose awareness. Simple partial seizures are often divided into four categories according to the explanation of their symptoms: motor, autonomic, or psychological.

Autonomic symptoms affect the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is a group of nerves that control all of the ways we function our organs. The symptoms affect the major organ systems; you get racing heart rates, stomach upset, and loss of bladder control. The only common autonomic symptom is the peculiar sensation in the stomach that is experienced by some patients with temporal lobe epilepsy. Complex partial seizures include parts of awareness and it consists of coordinated movements almost repetitive. People who suffer complex partial seizures are often called to be; "out of it," or "staring into space."

There are several types of epilepsy each of them show different causes and symptoms.

There are two main categories: Idiopathic and Symptomatic epilepsy. Idiopathic epilepsy is thought to be caused by a genetic factor, where symptomatic epilepsy is caused by physical defects inside the brain.

Idiopathic epilepsy is a genetic and inherited group of seizures and most of them all usually occur during childhood or birth. People with idiopathic generalized epilepsy have normal characteristics and the neurological exams they have to take are normal. People with idiopathic partial epilepsy have a family history of it and usually start with seizures and other symptoms between ages 4 and 8. This type of epilepsy is usually out grown by adulthood.

Symptomatic generalized epilepsy is caused by complete brain damage. Injury to the brain during birth is the most common case of symptomatic generalized epilepsy. Symptomatic partial epilepsy is most common seizures in adulthood and is caused by localized damage in the brain, such as a stroke, tumors or even trauma.

Those were all of the many different types of seizures and epilepsy that can occur. How is epilepsy known? Most of the time seizures are diagnosed by the description of events that are witnessed by the people standing around seeing what happens and describes them to EMS workers and doctors. For those who are alone when they have them, there are different type of tests that can be done to help diagnosis seizures and epilepsy and find out the exact category they have an take care of it. The most common test is the EEG, (electrocephalogram), which analyzes electrical activity of the brain. If the brainwaves show any abnormal activities than those abnormal brain waves can be used to help diagnose which category of epilepsy. The best up to date type of EEG that they are using now in hospitals is the Video EEG. This is similar to the regular EEG except this test usually takes a day or two depending on how frequent the person seizes. The person is attached to the EEG and place in a room where there is video surveillance watching them conduct their regular daily activities. If the person seizes the seizure is captured on video and on the EEG and can find out what caused the seizure. MRI's are used to help diagnose epilepsy if there is any trauma to the brain.



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