Epilepsy is a neurological condition that involves recurring seizures. This is caused by irregular electrical discharges among the brain cells. This results in convulsions of the body, loss of consciousness, and sometimes severely altered senses. 1
Because epilepsy is caused by abnormal activity in the brain, seizures can affect any process your brain coordinates. Seizure signs and symptoms may include:
Symptoms vary depending on the type of seizure. In most cases, a person with epilepsy will tend to have the same type of seizure each time, so the symptoms will be similar from episode to episode.
Doctors generally classify seizures as either focal or generalized, based on how the abnormal brain activity begins. 2
Seizures that appear to involve all areas of the brain are called generalized seizures. Six types of generalized seizures exist.
Epilepsy has no identifiable cause in about half the people with the condition. In the other half, the condition may be traced to various factors, including:
Researchers have linked some types of epilepsy to specific genes, but for most people, genes are only part of the cause of epilepsy. Certain genes may make a person more sensitive to environmental conditions that trigger seizures.
Typically, epilepsy patients are prescribed multiple anticonvulsants that often come with several side effects. Some side effects of anticonvulsants are:
Medical Cannabis has anticonvulsants which may prevent epileptic patients from having seizures. 5 “Early evidence from laboratory studies, anecdotal reports, and small clinical studies over a number of years suggest that cannabidiol (CBD) could potentially help control seizures. Research on CBD has been hard to do and taken time due to federal regulations and limited access to cannabidiol. There are also many financial and time constraints. In recent years, a number of studies have shown the benefit of specific plant-based CBD product in assisting specific groups of people with epilepsy who have not responded to traditional therapies,” (Epilepsy Foundation). 6
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