Skip to 0 minutes and 10 secondsTo understand how epilepsy arises, we must briefly outline how the brain functions normally.

Skip to 0 minutes and 16 secondsThe brain consists of millions of nerve cells: the neurones and their supporting structure. Each neouron can get electrical signals from other neurones and pass them to others. All of the functions of the brain including feelings, seeing, thinking, and moving muscles depend on electrical signals being passed from one neuron to the next, the message being modified as required. The normal brain is constantly generating electrical signals in an orderly way. In epilepsy. this order is disrupted by some neurones discharging signals inappropriately.

Skip to 1 minute and 4 secondsThere may be a brief electrical storm arising from neurones that are inherently unstable because of a genetic defect, as in the various types of inherited epilepsy or from neurones made unstable by metabolic abnormalities, such as low blood sugar or alcohol. Alternatively, the abnormal discharge may come from a localised area of the brain as when the epilepsy is caused by head injury or brain tumour. A seizure is a massive massive disruption of the electrical communication between neurones. If enough neurones are involved the discharge of electrical impulses, will produce symptoms. The result could be any number of different sensations or behaviours such as sudden muscle jerks or abrupt fall or distorted vision.

Skip to 2 minutes and 6 secondsIf the disturbance flashes across the whole brain at once, it could produce a convulsive seizure, that is a convulsion, temporarily disrupting many functions of the brain. We all must remember that everything that happens in your brain modifies your behaviour or your being, feeling, and so on. Different parts of the brain have different functions. We can have different partial seizures depending on the part involved. Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy is the most common localisation related epilepsy in adults. In 67 to 75 percent of cases it has a childhood onset. Individuals with this syndrome have a family history of epilepsy and a higher incidence of febrile seizures or other precipitating events. During the first five years of their life.

Skip to 3 minutes and 14 secondsOften seizures remit and then recur in adolescence or adulthood. In this case we can have hippocampal sclerosis. Sclerosis in medicine is the stiffening of a structure, usually caused by a replacement of the normal organ-specific tissue with connective tissue. Hippocampal sclerosis is a neuropathological condition with severe neural cell loss and gliosis in the hippocampus. Misiol temporal lobe epilepsy is associated with a greater impairment in general intellectual functioning, academic achievement, language visuo-spatial skills Usually it is untreatable and temporal lobe resection is the only possibility.

The role of the brain

This video is about the brain as the locus of epilepsy

The brain makes humans what they are. Normal connections among neurons are responsible for cognitive, affective, motor and vital functions. This video explains how damage to this system causes epileptic symptoms. Epilepsy originates from an abnormal neuronal activity involving either the whole brain, in the case of generalized seizures, or specific cerebral regions, in the case of partial ones. According to the location of the brain dysfunction different behavioural symptoms match with seizures.

Particular attention is given to the role of abnormal activity in the temporal lobe as the cause of the mesial temporal lobe epilepsy syndrome (MTLE), an example of focal epilepsy. A description of hippocampal sclerosis is provided in order to present a specific neuropathological condition that affects the hippocampus, located in the temporal lobe.

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Understanding Epilepsy and its Neuropsychology

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