The word ‘seizure’ has been used interchangeably with the terms ‘spasms’ and ‘epilepsy’ because these terms describe the same event. A seizure is a change in the behavior as a result of abnormal electrical activity inside the brain. Manifestations of seizure can range from losing awareness or consciousness to wild shaking of the body. It can be caused by developmental problems, infections, tumors, or metabolic abnormalities. Seizure can be further understood by looking at the electrical transmission within the nerve cells.
A nerve cell has an inner section and is bound by a membrane. The chemical composition inside the cell is different from the chemical composition outside. Specifically, the concentration of sodium salt is higher on the outside while the concentration of potassium salt is higher on the inside. Each salt is maintained on its proper location through the membrane pumps. These salts move from one side of the cell membrane to the other side when a nerve cell has to send an electric signal.
The movement is like a wave spreading throughout the nerve. The signal can be passed on to the next nerve cell through a neurotransmitter. Neurotransmitters are of two types; one is the excitatory neurotransmitter, which is responsible for cell-to-cell communication. The other is inhibitory neurotransmitter, which is responsible for slowing down or stopping the communication. The overactivity of the excitatory neurotransmitter or the underactivity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter can lead to a seizure.
This is because the abnormality in the activities of the excitatory or inhibitory neurotransmitters allows an electrical activity to flow in the brain. One of the best ways to control seizure is by taking medications. Medications for seizure include valium Phenobarbital and dilantin. These medications can also prevent seizures. It is also important for people who are at risk of seizures to develop good habits such as stress reduction, good sleep, and proper exercise.