PhD, MD. Neurosurgeon, Head of the Interregional Department of functional neurosurgery
of Kyiv Regional Psychiatric and Narcological Medical Union.
Tel.: +38 (067) 663-32-72
Epilepsy is a chronic polyethiologivcal brain disease that is characterized by recurrent spontaneous seizures resulting from excessive neuronal discharges and are accompanied by different clinical symptoms.
For effective treatment of epilepsy one must not only determine the nature of the disease, but also diagnose it cause (causes).
The causes of epilepsy, although too varied and diverse, have an associated influence on the brain – they decrease blood flow and disturb cerebrospinal fluid motion that lead to metabolic disorders in the brain tissue and the emergence of excessive neuronal discharges.
They are either diseases or malformations of the brain (tumors, cysts, hematomas, abscesses, chronic inflammations of the brain tissue and malformations and diseases of the brain vessels), the adjacent meninges and skull, and the other organs distant from the brain or the whole body (endocrine, metabolic and systemic diseases).
The causes of epilepsy can be separate diseases or malformations as well as their combinations.
According to our longstanding experience of complex (surgical, medical and restorative) treatment of epilepsy by releasing the compression of the brain along with the elimination of stenoses of meningeal vessels (venous sinuses of the dura mater) and the restoration of the cerebrospinal fluid outflow (in case of hydrocephalus) we can achieve not only a cessation of seisures with withdrawal of anticonvulsants, but also recovering of lost mental functions. Such a high effectiveness of treatment could be attained predominantly in patients treated in early stages of epilepsy. In patients with prolonged disease results of this treatment were less encouraging in terms of cessation or reduction of the frequency and severity of seizures as well as in terms of restoring mental functions.
These data should contribute to change attitudes towards epilepsy both by the patients and their relatives, remembering that the disease is accompanied by the demise of nerve cells and even with rare seizures and prolonged mild decrease of intelligence may lead to dementia, although each seizure poses dangers to be the last one. Therefore, only complete and early revealing of epilepsy causes and their elimination (not even total) can ensure cure or provide significant improvement and maintenance of patients’ quality of life.