Epilepsy is the name for a spectrum of neurological disorders that causes seizures. Doctor no longer consider epilepsy a single disease.
At Dignity Health North State, our neurology experts combine advanced treatment options with a warm, personalized approach. Find a Doctor who provides care for epilepsy in Northern California at our St. Elizabeth Community Hospital or Mercy Medical Center Redding locations.
What Causes Seizures?
Epileptic seizures are caused by an interruption of the normal neurological activity in the brain. This interruption can be caused by:
- Brain tumors
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Problems that are present at birth (congenital brain defects)
- Brain injury such as traumatic brain injury
- Abnormalities in blood chemistry
- Infections such as meningitis
- Problems with blood vessels in the brain
Epilepsy has been shown to run in families. Though, sometimes the cause of epilepsy is unknown. Doctors refer to this as idiopathic epilepsy.
Seizures are the main sign of epilepsy. For a doctor to diagnose epilepsy, you must have experienced multiple seizures over time. A single seizure due to a head injury or high fever is not considered epilepsy.
Symptoms of seizures vary from person to person. They also depend on where the seizure starts in the brain. Common symptoms include:
- Periods of staring that you don’t remember later and usually last for 15 seconds or less
- Shaking of the whole body, arms, or legs
- Momentary inability to speak
- Rigid muscles
- Abnormal head shaking
- Tingling sensations
- Smelling odors that don’t exist
- Pre-seizure mood changes or simply feeling strange
Treating Epileptic Seizures at Dignity Health North State
At Dignity Health, our approach to epilepsy treatment focuses on reducing the frequency and severity of seizures, minimizing treatment side effects, and improving health-related quality of life.
Common treatment options include medications to reduce the frequency of seizures and surgery to remove brain tissue or implant a device to regulate nerve function. If the cause of your seizures is known, such as a brain tumor, treating the underlying condition may help stop seizures from occurring.
Since epilepsy can be caused by a number of factors, there is no way to completely prevent it. However, parents should make sure children wear protective helmets during sports to reduce their risk of head injury, which can lead to epilepsy.
Talk to one of our neurologists today at learn more about our personal care for epilepsy in Northern California.
Dignity Health North State provides compassionate care for children and adults with epilepsy in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.