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Understanding Epilepsy

In this free online course, study epilepsy, its pathophysiology and classifications, and its diagnosis using an EEG.

Publisher: NPTEL
More than 50 million people worldwide suffer from epilepsy and most of them do not have access to the information or medical attention needed to treat their symptoms. In this free course, you will understand the causes of epilepsy, its symptoms, the available tools for diagnosis and treatment, and who are most susceptible to have this neurological dysfunction. You will also become familiar with the use of EEG test in diagnosing this disorder.
Understanding Epilepsy
  • Duration

    3-4 Hours
  • Students

  • Accreditation






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For centuries, people have been suffering from neurological disorders, such as schizophrenia and epilepsy. But the lack of medical information led people to believe that those suffering from these disorders were possessed by demons or evil spirits. Sadly, those suffering from these brain disorders were often shunned, mistreated, and at times even persecuted. We are now in the twenty-first century. Still, in many communities around the world, these brain disorders are often misunderstood. For example, more than 50 million people worldwide suffer from epilepsy, unfortunately, more than 75% of those suffering from epilepsy do not receive any treatment for their epileptic seizures, even in developed countries, such as in the United States. This free online course is designed to teach you what you need to know about epilepsy. Learn about the early warnings of epilepsy, its symptoms, its causes, how to diagnose it and how to treat it.

You will start by receiving a brief history lesson about epilepsy and the efforts made in the early twentieth century to understand this neurological disorder. Study about the discovery of anti-epileptic drugs and the development of the electroencephalogram, a technique that measures the brain’s electrical activity utilizing electrodes attached to the human scalp. Learn what the definition of epilepsy is and the symptoms that those suffering from it manifest. Study how the International League against Epilepsy classifies different types of epilepsy into three categories, focal epilepsy, generalized epilepsy, and unknown focal epilepsy. What makes them different? What are the causes contributing to each epilepsy type? And why is it important to understand the differences? You will discover the answer to these very important questions. Next, you will study how an epileptic seizure occurs in the brain and how the electrical signals caused by the seizure travel through the brain’s cortical circuits.

Understanding the behaviour of the abnormal synaptic activity that occurs in the brain before, during, and after a seizure is important to comprehend how an electroencephalogram is used to diagnose and classify epileptic seizures. Become familiar with EEG experimentation, such as electrode placement and testing protocol for epilepsy patients. Learn how to distinguish the difference between the brainwaves of a normal brain and an epileptic brain by visualizing their EEG readings side by side. Learn the definition of medical terms such as epileptogenesis, epileptic aura, and the epileptic Jacksonian March. Discover the efforts that are currently underway to develop methods to make the diagnosis of epilepsy more readily available to those who need it most and learn about the medical research to discover anti-epileptogenic drugs. If you are a medical student, or you or someone you know suffers from epilepsy, this course will interest you. Take part in the education effort to spread awareness of epilepsy. Don’t hesitate, start this free Understanding Epilepsy course today!

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