How to act before epilepsy?

This week we were surprised by the entrance of the humorist Millán Salcedo in a hospital of Seville. The diagnosis of epileptic crisis has resulted in surgery on the tongue, due, surely, to which it was due to bite during one of the crises. And just a few days ago, we could also read that the Disney actor and youth star Cameron Boyce, 20, died while sleeping, also due to the crises suffered during an epileptic attack.

The list of famous people who suffer or have suffered from epilepsy is endless. The singer Prince, the actress Melanie Griffith, which has even stated that what has improved his illness has not been the medication, but his divorce from Antonio Banderas; Albert Einstein, Dostoevsky, Van Gogh, Saint Paul, Napoleon or Julius Caesar They are just a sample of the endless list. We are going to almost give you ranges of epilepsy, seeing the cast of figures who have suffered from this disease, if it were not for how bad it is for patients and their families. There are historical references even since before the Egyptians. Today it is known that between 0.5 and 1% of the world's population suffers from epilepsy and in Spain they could suffer from 200,000 Y 400,000 people.

What causes it?

This disease is produced in the brain. It is characterized by an abnormal electrical activity that triggers seizures or unusual behaviors. People who suffer from it may even suffer neurological, cognitive and social consequences that cause disability. In the event that the crisis persists over time and does not give up on its own, it may be what we call epileptic status, which constitutes a vital emergency and requires immediate treatment and transfer to a hospital.

The crises most known to the general public are the generalized tonic-clonic in which patients collapse with convulsive movements and stiffness, along with loss of consciousness, closing of the jaws and foam that comes out of the mouth and during which the patient It may bite your tongue. But there are many other manifestations of the disease, with or without loss of consciousness. From the so-called absences to crises that affect an eyelid or limb, without generalizing to the rest of the body. Sometimes they are associated with other curious circumstances, such as menstruation – catamenial epilepsy – reading – primary reading epilepsy – or as a result of exposure to blinking lights. In fact, recently hundreds of children had to be admitted to Japan for epilepsy after an episode of the series Pokemon in which this circumstance occurred.

If the seizure lasts more than five minutes, we must call 112

As for the causes that originate, they vary according to age. In children there are usually disorders during childbirth, infections such as meningitis, trauma or fever. In adults, in a range between 35 and 50, the most common cause is brain tumors. If we rise above 50 years, cerebrovascular disease or stroke becomes one of the most common causes. But there is also a high percentage of cases in which the cause is unknown and there is another large group in which a family genetic predisposition to suffer from it has been demonstrated.

How to act

What should we do if we witness an epileptic crisis? Help to place the person on the floor without being injured, remove objects with which they can be injured, such as glasses, do not hold or put objects in the mouth and, at the end of the crisis, let it rest on its side. Do not leave the patient alone and, in case the crisis lasts more than five minutes, we must call 112.

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