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Identifying Epilepsy on the Central Coast


Nerve activity happens naturally in the brain. If that normal nerve activity is disrupted, seizures may be triggered, and you may experience epilepsy. 

At Dignity Health Central Coast, our neurologists understand that epilepsy is no longer considered a single disease. Epilepsy, which can be caused by a range of factors, is instead considered a spectrum of brain disorders that causes seizures.

Find a Doctor today to learn more about movement disorders, such as epilepsy, on the Central Coast of California. We can provide the personalized treatment that you need with the humankindness you deserve.

Exploring Symptoms of Epilepsy at Dignity Health Central Coast

Your neurologist will explain to you that a diagnosis of epilepsy means you experience multiple seizures over a course of time. Experiencing a single seizure due to head trauma or high fever doesn’t mean you have epilepsy.

While the primary sign of epilepsy is seizures, symptoms depend on where in your brain the seizure starts. Symptoms also vary from one person to another.

Overall, seizure signs and symptoms can include:

  • Convulsions
  • Rigid muscles
  • Shaking of your legs and arms, or shaking of your whole body
  • Head shaking that is abnormal
  • Periods of staring, usually for 15 seconds or less, which you can’t recall at a later time
  • An inability to speak for a moment

Signs of epilepsy also can include:

  • Tingling sensations
  • Smelling odors that don’t actually exist
  • Experiencing a strange feeling
  • Mood changes that take place before the seizure

Epilepsy Causes

The disruption of normal nerve activity in the brain that causes epilepsy can be the result of many factors, including:

  • Brain injury
  • Brain tumors
  • Stroke
  • Alzheimer’s disease or dementia
  • Problems present at birth, or congenital brain defects
  • Abnormalities in blood chemistry
  • Infections, such as meningitis
  • Abnormally formed blood vessels in the brain 

Treatment & Prevention of Epilepsy

Prevention and treatment of epilepsy focuses, in most cases, on reducing the severity and the frequency of seizures.

Treatment strategies depend on the cause of your seizures, if those causes are known. They may include: 

  • Addressing underlying health conditions, such as a brain tumor
  • Medications to reduce the frequency of seizures
  • Surgery to remove brain tissue or implant a device to control nerve function

Because so many potential factors can lead to epilepsy, there is no way to completely prevent this movement disorder. Epilepsy can result from brain trauma, however. Parents can help protect their children by making sure that children wear helmets when engaging in an activity with a high risk for head injury

Contact Dignity Health Central Coast today to receive personal care for neurological conditions, including epilepsy, at a hospital near you.

Dignity Health Central Coast doctors can diagnose symptoms related to movement disorders, including epilepsy seizures, throughout the Central Coast of California.