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Seizure-Free Living: Understanding the Causes, Treatment and Diagnosis of Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a condition that affects approximately one percent of the world’s population and can be caused by genetic factors, head injuries, brain tumors, or drug and alcohol use. While the cause of seizures is not always clear, treatment aims to prevent electrical disturbances and reduce the risk of recurrent seizures.

Half of epilepsy patients respond well to drug treatment and can lead almost seizure-free lives with decreasing medication over time. However, 30% require more complex treatment and 20% are resistant to drugs and may need surgery. Seizures can also be caused by temporary conditions like drug exposure or abnormal blood levels, which can be resolved without recurrence of seizures.

However, conditions like head injury, stroke, tumors, birth defects, and metabolic diseases can lead to recurrent seizures. Diagnosis of epilepsy involves an electroencephalograph (EEG) test that records brain waves over time to identify abnormalities that may require drug treatment. Some patients may even be able to stop medication if they remain seizure-free for at least four years.

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