Epilepsy: A Brain Disorder Essay

814 words - 4 pages

The brain is a very intricate system and your body’s control center. When it becomes damaged from illness, injury, or other health conditions, a brain disorder can develop. There are many different symptoms which can occur depending on the disorder which is present (Macon & Leonard, 2012). This paper will describe and discuss the brain disorder known as epilepsy.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder of the brain which primarily affects the nervous system and causes seizures in those affected by it. A seizure occurs when there is abnormal electrical activity in the brain’s cerebral cortex, thereby resulting in various types of involuntary movement of the body. The part of the brain which is primarily affected by epilepsy is the cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex is the part of the brain which is responsible for controlling the more complex mental processes such as, routine body movement and awareness as well as, thought, reasoning, and memory. The effects of a seizure on a person’s behavior vary depending on the area of the brain where the abnormal electrical activity took place. They can range from short-lived periods of disorientation to slight involuntary muscle contractions to complete unconsciousness ("Epilepsy," 2011).
There are a multitude of methods available to study the disorder of epilepsy. The most significant being the Electroencephalogram (EEG). An EEG is used to analyze and measure brain waves which indicate the electrical activity taking place at the exterior of the brain and should be rendered within twenty-four hours of the incident of abnormal electrical activity ("Epilepsy," 2011).
During the procedure, electrodes consisting of small metal discs with thin wires are pasted on the scalp. The electrodes detect tiny electrical charges that result from the activity of the brain cells. The charges are amplified and appear as a graph on a computer screen or as a recording that may be printed out on paper. Your doctor then interprets the reading ("EEG," para. 1).
Another method used is the computed tomography (CT) scan. A CT scan is typically the first test prescribed for patients suffering an initial seizure. A CT scan provides a much clearer image of the different areas of the brain and will also show any inconsistencies such as, tumors or abnormal bleeding ("Epilepsy," 2011).
In computed tomography, the X-ray beam moves in a circle around the body. This allows many different views of the same organ or structure. The X-ray information is sent to a computer that interprets the X-ray data and displays it in a...

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