Focal Deficits could be the early Stage of Epilepsy Seizures

Researchers believe that patients with idiopathic generalized epilepsies or IGE, have encountered symptoms that are inherent with focal seizures.

Focal seizures are neurological deficits caused in the brain that affect the functionality of a body part such as hand, tongue or ear. The complications can raise from hearing, vision and speech to paralysis of the arm, face and fingers.

The nervous system is extended on every part of our body and the location where the part has been affected can show what area of the brain or the nervous system is experiencing problem.

A new research has emerged that shows the connection between focal symptoms and epilepsy. While the research is new and being studied under several groups, the research does manage to raise the possibility that focal seizure symptoms can be a key factor that determines the duration of seizure freedom for the person suffering from epilepsy.

Study of 135 Patients

To evaluate this and acquire a definite answer for the study, the researchers decided that subjects with epilepsy must be interviewed. The experiment included 135 patients with idiopathic generalized epilepsy of which almost half (51.9%), reported in the Epilepsy Diagnostic Interview Questionnaire and Partial Seizure Symptom Definition regarding experiencing focal seizures. However, these symptoms prevailed in the 32 patients that were with juvenile absence epilepsy (62.5%), where juvenile myoclonic epilepsy was in 50 subjects against the 15 diagnosed withchildhood absence epilepsy that constitutes to (33.3%). The other 38 experienced generalized epilepsy with involving tonic-clonic seizures which makes upto 939.5%), even though the differences attained from the study did not meet their mark.

Epilepsy Health Dieases

The study backs some very important findings regarding the diagnosis and searching for symptoms, while relying on focal symptoms when identifying epilepsy. The co-authors of this study and UdayaSeneviratne from St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, have claimed that depending on these focal symptoms “may have far-reaching consequences such as unnecessary investigations, delayed diagnosis, misdiagnosis, and the use of inappropriate antiepileptic drugs”.

They also mentioned that: “Hence, we emphasize the critical role of EEG in the confirmation of diagnosis of IGE.”

What were the Results?

Aphasia was the most common one as its notoriety was among 24% of the subjects reporting its symptoms. The other focal seizure symptom was visual effects, among 17.8% of the patients while other symptoms that went off and on were the focal tonic/clonic/myoclonic symptoms, visceral/epigastric symptoms, somatosensory symptoms, automatisms, auditory symptoms amont the 7% and 12% of the subjects.

Since these symptoms varied from patient to patient, those groups that were in generalised tonic–clonic seizures had been experiencing these symptoms the most, especially minor seizures and absence or myoclonic seizures.

J Craig Henry from Winchester Neurological Consultants Virginia, said about the symptoms: “The notion that focal seizure symptoms definitively identify focal-onset seizures appears to be dying, if not dead, dogma.”

The Future of Diagnosis

With the through testing and one on one interviews with the patients, J Craig explained that “Adding to a growing body of literature that is blurring the classic dichotomy of epilepsy syndromes associated with focal- vs generalized-onset seizures, these findings commend circumspection: be careful what you ask for, and particularly careful in what you make of it.”

The study does show some valuable insight on focal deficits and their linkage to epilepsy attacks, but fails to present tangible evidence on the anatomy of the disease itself. Physical study and surgical examinations are the next move to provide more exposure into this study through volunteer subjects. If we can predict the causes of the disease to a wider spectrum, we can most definitely find them and cure them as well.

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