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8 Seizure Safety Tips
Recently entertainer Chris Brown joined millions of Americans when he suffered a seizure. Data suggests that ten percent of Americans will experience a seizure at some point in their lifetime. Here are common symptoms seen if someone has a seizure, such as:
- alteration or absence of consciousness
- lip smacking
- involuntary muscle contraction, followed by relaxation
- tongue biting due to contraction of jaw muscle
- difficulty of breathing and secretion of saliva from the mouth
Non-epileptic seizures (NES) or ‘pseudoseizures, psychogenic or cryptogenic seizures’ are episodic events not related to abnormal electrical activity in the brain according to the Epilepsy Foundation. They are considered to be psychological versus physical in terms of origin. It was a NES that entertainer Chris Brown experienced recently.
“Emotional stress” and “nonstop negativity” are said to have caused Chris Brown to suffer a seizure early Friday (8/9/2013), a representative for Brown said. The Los Angeles city Fire Department responded to a 911 call around 1 a.m. on Friday saying the 24-year-old singer had suffered a seizure at a local recording studio according to reports. Chris Brown was said to have refused treatment at the studio and the singer wasn’t hospitalized after suffering the non-epileptic seizure.
“His doctor tended to him this afternoon and attributes the NES to intense fatigue and extreme emotional stress, both due to the continued onslaught of unfounded legal matters and the nonstop negativity,” his representative said in a statement.
But NES are serious.
A person having non-epileptic seizures may have internal sensations that resemble those felt during an epileptic seizure. But there is an important difference.
They have characteristics which differ from true seizures in important points:
- Repeatedly normal EEG readings between seizures;
- Lack of any response to therapeutic levels of anti-epileptic drugs; and
- Violent thrashing of all four limbs, especially if not synchronous, during an episode.
Epileptic seizures are caused by abnormal electrical changes in the brain and, in particular, in its outer layer, called the cortex. Non-epileptic seizures are not caused by electrical disruptions in the brain.
If someone experiences a seizure:
- Do not attempt move the person having seizure to another location
- Do not leave the person. Stay with them until the seizure stops
- Look for bracelet or verification that the individual has epilepsy
- Protect the individual from any kind of injury
- Do not attempt to open the mouth and put anything in the mouth
- Gently put a soft pillow under the head to prevent injury to the head during the seizure.
- Carefully and gently turn the individual to their side and allow any fluid to come out of the mouth
- Seizures usually last for a short period of time (1-2 minutes). If a seizure lasts longer, call 911 immediately
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seizures do not indicate epilepsy if they only occur as a result of a temporary medical condition such as a high fever, low blood sugar, alcohol or drug withdrawal, or immediately following a brain concussion.