Nes That Have An Organic Cause
These seizures have a physical cause . They include fainting and seizures with metabolic causes such as diabetes.
Because organic NES have a physical cause, they may be relatively easy to diagnose and the underlying cause can be found. For example, a faint may be diagnosed as being caused by a physical problem in the heart. In these cases, if the underlying cause can be treated the seizures will stop.
What Causes Epilepsy In Your Bed
Epilepsy can decrease sexual energy or desire. This is usually due to the drugs taken to control the seizures. It may also be from the area in the brain where the seizures are situated. If impotence is a problem, the drugs to help with erectile dysfunction can often be prescribed in conjunction with anti-epileptic medications. The sexual activity itself rarely causes seizures.
Menstruation and epilepsy
When a young woman hits puberty she may find a change in the frequency or severity of her seizures. Or if she has never suffered from seizures as a child, she might start having them with the onset of puberty. One main reason for this is that estrogen increases the risk of seizures.
Menstruation itself has a definite correlation with seizures. When the seizures are so closely linked to menstruation, it is called catamenial epilepsy. The reasons why seizures and menstruation are so closely linked is not precisely known, but theories suggest that the changes in hormone levels, fluid retention, and tension caused by pre-menstrual symptoms might all be factors.
Oral contraceptives do not increase or decrease the risk of seizures, although it should be noted that epilepsy medications can reduce the effectiveness of the contraceptives.
What Causes Epileptic Seizures
Epileptic seizures are caused by a disturbance in the electrical activity of the brain . Our brain controls the way we think, move and feel, by passing electrical messages from one brain cell to another. If these messages are disrupted, or too many messages are sent at once, this causes an epileptic seizure.
What happens to the person during the seizure depends on where in the brain the seizure activity happens and what that part of the brain does.
Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with epilepsy who are then assessed at specialist epilepsy centres are found to have NES
This may be partly because epilepsy and NES can look very similar, and can affect people in similar ways. However, the difference between epileptic and non-epileptic seizures is their underlying cause.
Non-epileptic seizures are not caused by disrupted electrical activity in the brain and so are different from epilepsy. They can have a number of different causes.
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What Causes Dissociative Seizures
We all react to frightening or stressful situations differently. When we are frightened we might feel physical symptoms such as a racing heartbeat or a sweaty feeling. When we feel sad, we might cry. So how we feel emotionally can sometimes cause a physical reaction.
An extremely frightening or upsetting experience may be so emotionally difficult for some people to think about that they cannot consciously cope with how this makes them feel.
In some cases, we will unconsciously hide or ‘repress’ the memory of these experiences. These memories may always remain hidden and we may never remember the events that have happened.
For some people, the memories of these painful past events can suddenly come up or ‘intrude’ into their thoughts or awareness. This might happen during an emotional or stressful situation or when there is something in the environment that unconsciously triggers a distressing memory.
Dissociative seizures can happen as a cut-off mechanism to prevent bad memories being relived. The person splits off from their feelings about the experience because it is too difficult to cope with. The seizure happens because their emotional reaction causes a physical effect.
These seizures are an unconscious reaction so they are not deliberate and the person has no control over them.
- major accidents
- severe emotional upset
- psychological stress
- difficult relationships
- physical or sexual abuse
- being bullied.
How Can I Decrease My Chances Of Having Seizures From Stress Or Worry
Regardless of the cause, probably the best way to decrease your seizure frequency is to follow your medication schedule very closely. The number one reported cause of increased seizures was missed medications. When you don’t take your seizure medicine or take less than you should, the levels of medication in your body and brain fall. Your brain may begin to show unusual activity, which can lead to seizures.
When stress or worry is a trigger, there are a number of things you could do to lessen the chance of a seizure.
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Why Do Some People Have More Seizures When Under Stress
Seizures can take many forms, but theres not a single type of seizure thats known as a stress seizure. Stress may, however, play a role in triggering many types of seizures.
Since everyone experiences stress differently, it can be hard to know how many people have seizures triggered by stress, but stress is the
Epigenetic Modifications In Development Programming And The Effects Of Stress
Epigenetic modifications regulate gene expression without altering the DNA sequence. Epigenetic changes involve DNA methylation at cytosine-guanine sequences-CpG sites, histone posttranslational modifications , and microRNAs . Epigenetic mechanisms control nucleosome spacing and how they are condensed, which subsequently determines gene activity. Briefly, chromatin exists in an inactivated and condensed state that prevents gene transcription, but when activated to an open state , genes can be transcribed.
It is now clear in both humans and animals that glucocorticois and stress have a significant epigenetic impact, and the relationship between the stress response and epigenetics in the brain is bidirectional . Epigenetic alterations have become especially attractive to researchers in recent years, as increasing evidence indicates that they can be induced by physical and social exposure early in life . For some neurobiological disorders, exposure to environmental agents during early developmental stages can epigenetically disturb gene regulation in a long-term manner and cause significant pathological manifestations later in life. This process is the latent early-life associated regulation model by Lahiri et al. .
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Reviewstress As A Seizure Precipitant: Identification Associated Factors And Treatment Options
We summarize the literature on stress and seizures and corresponding treatment trials.
Depression and anxiety are higher in patients with stress-triggered seizures, with anxiety as an independent influential factor.
Small prospective trials using general stress reduction show promise in improving outcomes in patients with epilepsy.
Future research should clarify mechanisms of stress-seizure relationship and establish evidence-based treatment recommendations.
How Are Seizures Treated
If you have epilepsy and your seizures are being triggered by stress, you should consider working to decrease or avoid stressful situations. You might also think about working with your doctor to find an effective medication regimen.
There are a number of medications that can be used to control seizures, and additional medications may be appropriate to help you deal with stress, depression, or anxiety. Talk with your doctor or a mental health professional if youre having trouble coping with seizures or daily stress.
If you dont have epilepsy but are experiencing non-epileptic seizures brought on by stress, there are a number of treatments that may help. These include:
- medications to address anxiety or depression
- ruling out physical problems that could be increasing stress
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The Concern About Anxiety And Seizures
Those with anxiety have a tendency to fear the worst. Those with panic attacks even more so. Anxiety causes the brain to focus on worst case scenarios, and unfortunately that means that if you have a panic attack you’re more prone to believing it’s caused by something worse – something like a seizure.
Tips To Avoid Stress Induced Seizures
If you get stress seizures, there are plenty of things you can do to tackle the causes and symptoms of stress:
Your wellbeing: Read our beginnerâs guide to wellness
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Medications That Can Trigger Seizures In Dogs
Believe it or not, a dogs medications can sometimes trigger seizures as well. These include vaccinations, heartworm medications, flea and tick preventative medications and some other prescription medications. If your dog has a seizure shortly after beginning a new medication, you should make af note of this when you see your veterinarian.
What Epilepsy Specialists Do
Specialist attention can be helpful in all cases, because even among epilepsy patients, there are several different variations and types of seizures. For instance, there are focal onset seizures, which affect a small part of the brain, and generalized onset seizures, which affect broader parts of the brain. Differentiating between the two is important because there are different medications for each. Even within those broad categories, people can have different types of seizures: Some can cause a person to lose consciousness while others only affect a persons muscles but do not impact a persons ability to think.
Women with epilepsy also have to take extra care. Research suggests that elevated estrogen and progesterone ratios can increase risk for seizures. In addition, pregnant women with generalized tonic-clonic seizures should be aware that these seizures can be harmful to her and her fetus. Moreover, certain epilepsy medications should be avoided because they can increase the risk for birth defects. However, women with epilepsy can safely become pregnant, give birth to a healthy baby, and breast feed, if they are under the care of an epilepsy specialist to ensure the safety of the mother and baby.
As for Dr. Tolchin, hes continuing his research on the many types of epileptic seizures and on psychogenic seizures. These are complex and debilitating disorders, says Dr. Tolchin. But were advancing knowledge and care for our patients every day.
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How Can I Manage My Stress Levels
We all manage stress differently. A recent study of people suffering from stress-related seizures found that 90% of the people who took concrete steps to actively manage the stress in their lives believed it had reduced their seizure risk. Basically, if there is stress in your life, you should make a personal plan to make the situation better or to avoid it.
What Does Stress Do To Your Body
When you are in a threatening or challenging situation, your brain produces chemicals that cause your adrenal glands to make stress hormones. These hormones make your heart, liver, muscles and other organs ready to take action. This is sometimes called the fight-or-flight response. Its a normal reaction that allows you to stay focused and motivated, cope with challenges, and escape from harmful situations, if necessary.
Once the pressure or threat has passed, your stress hormone levels will usually return to normal. However, if you’re constantly under stress, these hormones will remain in your body, leading to the symptoms of stress. For some people, long-term stress can lead to:
- Heart problems
It can also make you more vulnerable to infection.
For more information about the long-term effects of stress see the PsychCentral website.
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Keep A Normal Routine If Possible
For some people, NES may disrupt their daily life or they may want to avoid acitivities in case they have a seizure. However, studies show that it can help to keep as normal a routine as possible, and to try to take part in activities with other people. This may help to avoid becoming isolated and anxious, which may make seizures more likely.
Treatment for NES may work best when someone is active in life, including working, studying, or taking part in other activities which are meaningful and satisfying.
If you are working, your employer has a responsibility to keep you and other employees safe at work. To do this, they may need to know about any medical conditions that affect you at work, including NES.
Your employer may need to do a ‘risk assessment’ to see if your condition may affect safety at work.
See our information on employment.
Whats The Difference Between Pnes And Panic Attacks
The symptoms of both events are similar. However, PNES are less likely to include the severe feelings of panic and fear that come with panic attacks.
Panic attacks and PNES are easy to mix up. Even healthcare professionals sometimes mistake one for the other.
In fact, there does appear to be a close relationship between the two. According to a 2018 analysis of studies, 17% to 83% of people with PNES also experience panic attacks.
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How Are Dissociative Seizures Diagnosed
If you have seizures, your GP will usually refer you to a specialist for diagnosis. This will usually be a neurologist to see if the seizures are epileptic. Or you may be referred to a psychiatrist or psychologist .
It may be easier for doctors to try and rule out possible physical causes first, including epilepsy. This will influence the types of tests you might have.
Dissociative seizures can be difficult to diagnose because they can appear similar to epileptic seizures. There are no symptoms that will definitely identify dissociative seizures from epileptic seizures.
Can Epilepsy And Seizures Cause Stress
Living with a long-term condition like epilepsy can be frustrating and disabling. And the fear of losing control and having a seizure can be very stressful. Epilepsy can cause stress and stress can cause you to have more seizures. Ideally when youre diagnosed with epilepsy, a doctor should check whether you have a history of problems with stress or other mood problems. They could then make suggestions about ways of managing this.
Here are some people with epilepsy talking about how stress affects their seizures:
I have a lovely partner now, who understands my epilepsy. But when we first got together, I got really stressed about having one of my turns and wetting myself. Of course, the more stressed I got, the more seizures I had. Thank goodness, she understands and is still here for me. – Mo
Stress definitely affects me. Work is really stressing me out at the moment and it cant be a coincidence that my epilepsy is playing up, when normally its well controlledI just hate the thought of any of my team seeing me have a seizure. – Sam
“Ive had epilepsy over 20 years, and stress plays a very big part. Its not just consciously worrying about things, as hidden stresses are there all the time. You know, even positive things can be stressful, so even going anywhere different, or taking a holiday can trigger my seizures. – Jamie
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How Is Epilepsy Treated
The majority of epileptic seizures are controlled through drug therapy. Diet may also be used along with medications.
In certain cases in which medications and diet are not working, surgery may be used. The type of treatment prescribed will depend on several factors, including the frequency and severity of the seizures, as well as the person’s age, overall health, and medical history.
What Can I Do
Identify possible triggers and consider what you can do to modify or change your lifestyle or behaviors. The goal is lessen your chance of seizures. Look at self-management strategies to manage triggers of seizures. . Here’s just a few ideas.
- Start a regular sleep pattern. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
- Limit your alcohol consumption to a few drinks, and don’t drink too often.
- Find an outlet to help you deal with anger, frustration, and worries in your life. Exercise, music, or conversation works for many people.
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Neuronal Cell Proliferation And Neurogenesis
In male mice, prolonged prenatal stress decreased cell proliferation in the hippocampus by 60% on postnatal day 10 . In another experimental paradigm, daily maternal restraint during the last week of gestation resulted in deficits of hippocampal neurogenesis . The relationship between prenatal stress and neurogenesis is complicated and depends on the stressor type, sex, and environment. Prenatal stress seems to have both enhancing and suppressing effects on the development of hippocampal neurons in a stressor intensity-dependent manner . Fujioka et al. reported that short-lasting and mild prenatal stress seemed to enhance neonatal neurogenesis, facilitate LTP, and the differentiation of processes of hippocampal neurons, whereas long-lasting and severe prenatal stress impaired their morphology.
Acute Stress And Hormonal Changes
Researchers investigating stress-related effects on epilepsy have also conducted studies to determine the hormonal basis for the negative effects of acute stress. The literature consists of conflicting findings, especially regarding the ability of acute stress to produce hyperactivity of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis in rodent models of epilepsy . For example, hippocampal kindling exacerbates cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone release in Sprague-Dawley rats, but diminishes basal levels of cortisol in Wistar rats, in models of acute stress . Animals with epileptic predispositions, like the Mongolian gerbil and the epilepsy mouse, have also demonstrated upregulation of HPA-axis mediators, including corticotropin-releasing factor and cortisol, in response to acute stressors . The existing evidence suggests that differences between findings may be the result of variation in methodology, and that mediators of the HPA axis are involved in the propagation of seizure activity .
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