Lower Merion Neurology PC
Neurologist located in Paoli, PA & Narberth, PA
Epilepsy is a common seizure disorder, yet it’s not the only cause of seizures. You can develop seizures due to other problems like a stroke or infection. Sudhir Aggarwal, MD, PhD, at Lower Merion Neurology PC, specializes in accurately identifying and treating the different types of seizure disorders so that you can maintain a full life. To learn more about seizures, call the office located in Paoli, Pennsylvania, and serving the larger Main Line area, or schedule an appointment online.
Seizure Q & A
What is a seizure?
You have a seizure when the nerves in your brain fire too rapidly. During a focal seizure, a group of nerves on one side of your brain become overactive. A generalized seizure occurs when you have a sudden burst of electrical activity on both sides of your brain. You can also have a seizure that starts on one side and spreads to the other side.
Is having a seizure the same as epilepsy?
Having a seizure does not automatically mean you have epilepsy. Epilepsy is the most common cause of seizures, but seizures also develop from other health problems. A stroke, traumatic brain injury, brain tumor, infections, and a high fever are just a few examples of conditions that may trigger a seizure.
You receive an epilepsy diagnosis if you have two or more seizures that are at least 24 hours apart. Dr. Aggarwal at Lower Merion Neurology PC may also diagnose epilepsy if you have one seizure and diagnostic studies show you have a high risk of having a second seizure.
What symptoms will I experience during a seizure?
Factors like where the seizure began in your brain and your level of awareness during the seizure, determine the type of seizure you experience. During some seizures, you may lose consciousness, but with other types, you stay awake and aware.
During a seizure, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms.
- Continual jerking movements
- Brief muscle twitches
- Weak or limp muscles
- Tense or rigid muscles
- Blanking out or staring into space
- Lack of movement (complete immobility)
- Whole body spasms
- Repetitive movements like lip smacking or hand clapping
In some cases, the symptoms are subtle. You may have brief twitches in your eyelids or experience changes in sensations and emotions. It’s also possible for you to have symptoms like goosebumps or a rapid heartbeat.
How are seizures treated?
Dr. Aggarwal performs a thorough neurological exam and diagnostic testing at Lower Merion Neurology PC to determine the type of seizure, then prescribes the best medication for you. There are more than 25 different anti-epileptic drugs, and most work for a specific type of seizure.
Many patients can keep their seizures under control with one medication. However, Dr. Aggarwal sometimes needs to add a second medication to your regimen for optimal results.
If your medications don’t work well enough, or you experience side effects, Dr. Aggarwal may recommend surgery such as vagus nerve stimulation or epilepsy surgery to disconnect the area of your brain causing the seizures.
To get an expert diagnosis and treatment for seizures, call Lower Merion Neurology PC or book an appointment online.