Epilepsy can be caused by a several different reasons, but the fact is that in most cases doctors can not come up with a definite reason for the seizures. The patient could have been born with a genetic disposition to it, or have suffered brain damage or some kind of serious brain injury. Some types of epilepsy seem to run in families. It is not contagious, but limited only to the inside of the brain.

People with epilepsy suffer from at least two to a series of seizures. These seizures occur because the brain sends off small electrical bursts that are different than other charges – and out of control. The body convulses and it can affect the entire body, or some parts of it. The parts that are affected depend on where the signals become sidetracked or disconnected. If the signal charge is sent throughout the brain the entire body will shake. If it is just on the right side, the left side of your body is affected, and the opposite is true for the left hemisphere of the brain and the right side of the body. Seizures last for a few seconds to a few minutes, and depending on the severity of the damage to the brain they can reoccur.

 Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain and central nervous system. The nervous system controls our thoughts, movement, impressions and memory and is the communication network for the brain. Just like electrical lines that run throughout your house, nerves are dispersed throughout your body that sends the electrical impulses to your brain for processing. An epileptic’s electrical impulses tend to become imbalanced and the impulses short circuit, resulting in a seizure.

Our brains run on electricity – usually tiny impulses in a normal and orderly pattern. These impulses move along the network of nerve cells (neurons) throughout the central nervous system by messengers called neurotransmitters. When the neurons misfire and send off a sudden and quick impulse spurt that leaves the orderly pattern of nerve cells it disconnects or doesn’t even make a connection. This creates the part of the body that particular area of the brain controls to go out of control and lose their bodily functions in that area. This can lead to shaking, staring spells, repetitive movement of hands and arms, and strange noises and words that are incomprehensible.  

There are approximately 18 or so drugs approved to treat the condition, and some people are eligible for surgery. Researchers are working on a device that will deliver electrical impulses to the brain that will be able to bring the number of seizures under control.

This is Ron White, memory training expert, memory keynote speaker, and two-time USA Memory Champion.  Epilepsy is a matter of a brain disconnect, and often short-term memory is affected. With memory training it is possible that the short-term memory will have been moved to long-term through training, and the loss will not be as great to the memory. Only experimentation will know for sure.




NPR Health Blog – With Help Teens Can Manage Epilepsy, by Jordan Calms: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/11/29/142866521/with-help-teens-can-manage-epilepsy

Epilepsy Therapy Project – What is Epilepsy?: http://www.epilepsy.com/info/teens_what