Bhopal 24.11.2021. According to WHO-Covid19 technical lead Dr Naresh Purohit though epilepsy patients don’t face any increased risk from Covid infection, others may be at a risk of suffering from seizures for the first time in life in case of brain involvement.
With severe Covid the infection risk of severe encephalitis increases.
Patients with epilepsy do not have more chance of developing Covid infection. However, due to infection and fever, the epileptic attack may get precipitated in those with epilepsy. Those who have severe Covid infection with associated encephalitis can develop an attack of epilepsy for the first time .
Executive Member of the Indian Academy of Neurology Dr Purohit said here that the epilepsies are chronic neurological disorders in which clusters of nerve cells, or neurons, in the brain sometimes signal abnormally and cause seizures. Neurons normally generate electrical and chemical signals that act on other neurons, glands, and muscles to produce human thoughts, feelings, and actions. During a seizure, many neurons fire (signal) at the same time – as many as 500 times a second, much faster than normal. This surge of excessive electrical activity happening at the same time causes involuntary movements, sensations, emotions, and behaviors and the temporary disturbance of normal neuronal activity may cause a loss of awareness.
Quoting his recent research report published in the Asia-Pacific Journal of Neurology Dr Purohit said that there is no direct evidence that the coronavirus infection can directly cause epilepsy. However, like all infections that can cause high fever, breathing difficulties and other problems with normal functioning, being infected can result in a person who is susceptible to epilepsy, suffer breakthrough episodes.
Acclaimed Epidemiologist Dr Purohit averred that epilepsy is the most common serious neurological disease affecting over 50 million people worldwide and an estimated 5 million plus people in India. People with epilepsy have recurrent, unprovoked seizures and these have to be differentiated from provoked seizures that follow a tumour, stroke, infection, inflammation, metabolic disease (like very low or very high blood sugar) and so on. A seizure is an electrical storm in the brain; a short circuit in the brain’s normal electrochemical activity.
Noted Physician Dr Purohit further said that Epileptic seizures depend on which area of the brain is involved. In majority of cases the cause for epileptic seizure is known and includes abnormalities of brain development, stroke, head injuries, infections, brain tumours, genetic causes or brain damage during and after birth. Some of these causes are preventable