Effective Epilepsy Treatment 

Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder. The condition can affect individuals of all ages and is characterized by chronic seizures which are caused by disrupted nerve cell activity in the brain. Those who suffer from epilepsy can experience a limited quality of life due to the danger seizures present for day-to-day activities such as driving, swimming, and more. However, medications and surgical procedures have proven successful in controlling the effects of the condition. Dr. Peter Nakaji in Phoenix, AZ, is an experienced and renowned neurosurgeon who is dedicated to effectively diagnosing and treating patients with epilepsy so their condition does not control their lives. 

What is Epilepsy? 

Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes patients to have recurring seizures, which are a result of abnormal activity within the brain. While many disorders can cause seizures, epilepsy is unique in that it will lead to repeated episodes. 

What Causes Epilepsy?

Often, there is no one identifiable cause of epilepsy. However, the condition can be induced by head trauma, brain conditions such as tumors or strokes, infectious diseases, and developmental disorders. Specific genes have also been linked to epilepsy as they can make some patients more sensitive to triggers such as lack of sleep, alcohol, and stress.  

Warning Signs

Before a seizure, patients may experience changes in awareness, sensory ability, emotions, or thoughts. These changes may occur in a pattern at the onset of each fit, and can include dizziness, racing thoughts, fear, nausea, loss or blurring of vision, headache, numbness or tingling, as well as changes in smells, sounds, and tastes. 

What Happens During an Epileptic Seizure? 

Each person is affected differently by epileptic fits, however, there are general stages that may occur. Symptoms can occur during the onset of a seizure and may be accompanied by other behavioral manifestations and involuntary movements. Behavioral symptoms can include: 

  • Confusion
  • Memory lapse
  • Loss of awareness or consciousness
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Out of body sensations  

Epileptic fits also include physical symptoms such as:

  • Difficulty speaking
  • Inability to swallow
  • Tremors, twitching, or jerking
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Rigid or tense muscles
  • Repeated non-purposeful movements (automatisms)
  • Convulsions

The aftermath of an epileptic fit may include emotional distress, memory loss, exhaustion, physical weakness, bodily injury, and more. Those living with epilepsy should take their condition seriously and seek treatment to prevent harm to themselves and others. 

Diagnosing Your Condition 

Dr. Nakaji can diagnose your condition by conducting an in-depth evaluation which will generally include reviewing your medical history and symptoms as well as a neurological exam. A neurological examination will help us form an accurate diagnosis by evaluating your behavior, mental function, and motor abilities. In some cases, blood samples or tests to detect brain abnormalities may also be conducted. 

EEG machines similar to this may be used

Treatment Options 

Medicines and surgery can often help control seizures so these events have less of an impact on your life. Dr. Nakaji has vast experience epilepsy after treating a range of conditions to minimize the effects with both medication and surgical procedures. Medicines, known as anticonvulsants or anti-epileptics drugs (AEDs), can be provided based on your seizure type and frequency. 

Dr. Nakaji has helped many patients successfully treat their condition allowing them to live a life with minimal to no epileptic seizures. 

If your condition cannot be controlled with medication, Dr. Nakaji may suggest a surgical procedure. He can use advanced technology to perform safe surgical treatments.There are multiple types of surgeries that can be provided to treat epilepsy. Resective surgery, or resection, is a procedure in which the surgeon removes the area of the brain that is causing your fits. Disconnection or augmentation surgeries, such as corpus callosotomy or cerebellar stimulation, are more appropriate when the area of the brain driving the seizures cannot be removed without harming brain function. These procedures interrupt nerve pathways so that seizures are not able to spread, or stimulate specific areas of the brain to relieve symptoms. It is important to note that resections can cure a patient, however, disconnection and augmentation surgeries only serve to provide relief. 

The Finest Neurological Care

Dr. Nakaji has helped many patients successfully treat their condition allowing them to live a life with minimal to no epileptic seizures. His extensive training and use of advanced surgical techniques has allowed him to provide effective, personalized solutions for his patients. Contact us online or by phone at (602) 406-4808 to schedule a consultation. 

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