Integrated Neurology Services
Neurology & Sleep Specialists Located in Northern Virginia, Alexandria, VA, Old Alexandria, VA, Lorton, VA, & Falls Church, VA
Approximately 3.4 million people in the United States have epilepsy, a condition that causes recurrent seizures. The board-certified neurologists at Integrated Neurology Services diagnose and treat epilepsy at their clinics across Northern Virginia in Alexandria, Falls Church, and Lorton, also serving the Vienna, VA, community. Call your nearest office or book an appointment online today for an integrative approach to epilepsy treatment.
Epilepsy Q & A
What is epilepsy?
Epilepsy includes a spectrum of neurological disorders that cause seizures, which are patterns of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. There are many types of seizures, ranging from mild and benign to severe and disabling.
The expert team at Integrated Neurology Services provides individualized care for people ages 16 and above who have various forms of epilepsy. They also evaluate and work with younger patients on a case-by-case basis.
What are the symptoms of epilepsy?
To be diagnosed with epilepsy, you must have experienced two or more seizures. Symptoms vary depending on the type and severity of the seizure. A seizure may cause someone to stare into space and seem confused, or they may fall down and shake uncontrollably.
Common seizure symptoms include:
- Falling to the ground
- Muscle convulsions or spasms
- Tongue biting
- Crying out
- Unintentional urination
- Impaired awareness or staring into space
- Loss of consciousness
- Repetitive behaviors, such as rapid blinking
- Abnormal sensations, such as hearing or smelling things that aren’t there
Seizures may last from a few seconds to a few minutes. During this time, the person having the seizure is usually unaware of what’s happening around them.
What causes epilepsy?
A variety of conditions that affect the brain can lead to epilepsy, including:
- Brain tumor
- Lack of sleep
- Low blood sugar
- Loss of oxygen to the brain
- Genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome
- Neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease
- Previous head injury or traumatic brain injury
- Brain infection from parasites, viruses, or bacteria
- Not taking the appropriate type or amount of anti-seizure medication
In about two out of three cases of epilepsy, the cause remains unknown. Epilepsy that occurs without a known cause is called cryptogenic or idiopathic.
How is epilepsy diagnosed and treated?
To diagnose epilepsy, the team at Integrated Neurology Services reviews your symptoms and medical history and performs a neurological exam. They may take tests, such as:
- Blood tests
- Electroencephalogram (EEG)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Then, they recommend the best treatment for your specific type of epilepsy. Anti-seizure medications prevent recurrent seizures in about two out of three patients with epilepsy. Other common treatments include vagus nerve stimulation, special diets, and surgery.
For comprehensive epilepsy treatment in a warm and caring environment, call Integrated Neurology Services, or book an appointment online today.
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