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Updated: November 2, 2009 20:17 IST

A manual on seizure disorders published

Radhakrishnan Kuttoor
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Manual on seizure disorders
Manual on seizure disorders

Dr. Saji Philip, Paediatrician attached to the Epilepsy and Heartcare unit at St. Gregorios Cardio-Vascular Centre in Parumala has come out with a second edition of ‘Manual of seizure disorders’.

Talking to The Hindu here on Monday, Dr. Philip said the 432 page book published by the Kattanam-based Epilepsy and Heartcare Foundation is a quick reference for practitioners, residents, and post-graduate students who are interested in the treatment of epilepsy or seizure disorder.

“My intention is to encourage all doctors to learn the basics of Epileptology to improve the quality of epileptic patients,” he says.

According to Dr. Philip, the normal brain function requires an orderly, organised, co-ordinated discharge of electrical impulses. Electrical impulses enable the brain to communicate with the spinal cord, nerves, and muscles as well as within itself. Seizure disorders may result when the brain’s electrical activity is disrupted.

There are two basic types of seizures, epileptic seizures that occur repeatedly and non-epileptic seizures which are triggered by conditions like high fever that irritate the brain.

Dr. Philip says that certain mental disorders can cause symptoms that resemble seizures, called sychogenic non-epileptic seizures. Most commonly, seizure disorders begin in early childhood or in late adulthood.

“Seizures with no identifiable cause are called idiopathic. Conditions that irritate the brain, such as injuries, certain drugs, sleep deprivation, infections, fever, etc, or those that deprive the brain of oxygen or fuel like abnormal heart rhythms, a low level of oxygen in the blood, or a very low level of sugar in the blood can trigger a single seizure whether a person has a seizure disorder or not. A single seizure that results from such a stimulus is called a provoked seizure and thus is non-epileptic.”

People with a seizure disorder are more likely to have a seizure when they are under excess physical or emotional stress or deprived of sleep. Avoiding these conditions can help prevent the disorder.

Dr. Philip also mentions about reflex epilepsy that is usually triggered by repetitive sounds, flashing lights, video games or even touching certain parts of the body.

In his foreward of the book, Dr. P.A. Mohammedkunju, head of Paediatric Neurology at Thiruvananthapuram Medical College is of the opiniom that the manual will “contribute to a resurgence of scientific clinical approach as an indispensable tool in seizure diagnosis and treatment.”

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