Epilepsy: What you should know

Dr Ardeshna
Dr. Nikesh Ardeshna
Dr. Nikesh Ardeshna, a fellowship-trained epileptologist leading treatment in the McLaren Macomb Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, indicates there are many misconceptions people can have when it comes to epilepsy.

"When it comes to epilepsy, many people think that means recurrent seizures, grand mal seizures or convulsions and that's it," Dr. Ardeshna said. "But there are many different types of epilepsy, and its symptoms can vary. Epilepsy is a condition that can be treated and its patients can live quality, productive lives."

Many symptoms can go unnoticed, such as confusion, memory loss or speech difficulties.

Other manifestations can appear quite benign, such as temporary changes in behavior, wandering, involuntary movements or an abnormal sensory experience. Many times an individual with epilepsy does not even know this is occurring, contributing to a delay in diagnosis and treatment.

Some of these symptoms are more common in the elderly, which is the fastest growing group of epilepsy patients, with nearly 300,000 cases in the United States.

This group may already be experiencing other neurological conditions which may increase the risk for seizures, such as Alzheimer's, dementia and stroke.

Epilepsy, if left untreated, can become more severe, progressing to more seizures, possibly causing memory loss, slowed thinking, injury or, in rare cases, sudden death.

To learn more about epilepsy care at McLaren Macomb, visit mclaren.org/macombepilepsy.