Seizures; A Misunderstood Cellular Event Essay

1133 words - 5 pages

More than one in ten people will experience a seizure in their lifetime. A seizure can occur due to any number of reasons, for example, a head injury, low blood sugar, a fever, or even imbalanced electrolytes. A seizure can be defined as a short-termed change of behavior due to the excessive and synchronous firing of central nervous system(CNS) neurons.1 There are many different physiological causes that can result in the occurrence of a seizure, as well as many different kinds of seizures themselves. Throughout this paper, I will explore the effects of seizures as well as the functioning in the neurons and synapses throughout the different lobes of the brain.Seizures are categorized into two groups, generalized and partial. Partial seizures begin at a specific site in the cortex, while a generalized seizure affects both hemispheres of the brain from the beginning. Partial seizures can be further broken down into two more categories, simple partial and complex partial. A person will remain conscious when undergoing a simple partial seizure, but may experience any of a number of symptoms, such as strange emotions and nausea, or even any number of sensory delusions.1A complex partial seizure is limited to one cerebral hemisphere and is often preceded by an aura, which is actually a simple partial seizure. During a complex partial seizure, a person experiences impaired and weakened responsiveness. Some of these symptoms can include a repetitive lip smacking or chewing, as well as amnesia.1 A curious aspect regarding simple and complex partial seizures is that often, bystanders may not be able to discern that a seizure is taking place, if they notice anything out of the ordinary at all. Oftentimes, the symptoms a person experiences during these seizures can be mistaken by professionals for other disorders, such as migraines, fainting, or narcolepsy.Generalized seizures encompass many specific types of seizures, divided according to the location it affects on the body. A myoclonic seizure causes twitches in the upper or lower extremities. Atonic seizures produce a loss of normal muscle tone. Tonic seizures cause the muscles of the body to become rigid. Clonic seizures cause recurring jerking movements of muscles on both lateral sides of the body. Tonic-clonic seizures are exactly what they sound like, a mixture of tonic and clonic seizures. This includes stiffening of the body, repeated jerks, and loss of consciousness. Tonic-clonic seizures are also sometimes referred to as grand mal seizures.1Now that I have explained a little about seizures in general, let me delve deeper to the cellular level. I have already mentioned that seizures occur due to random and rapid firing of electrical impulses between synapses. The maturity of neurons occurs during embryonic and postnatal stages. This development is thought to have two stages. In the first, neurons extend axons to make synaptic contact with specific target cells. The second stage of development is...

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