Convulsions, which are sometimes known as fits, seizures, or epilepsy can be very frightening. They do occur in a small number of people with dementia, but not in the majority. Again, like so many other symptoms, they can be caused by illnesses other than the dementia and so it is important that a doctor establishes that there is no other cause that might be treatable.
Most fits can, in fact, be prevented by medicines, so if convulsions become a major problem, the frequency with which they occur can be considerably reduced and often they can be prevented altogether.
Fits are usually associated with loss of consciousness, jerking movements of the arms and legs and sometimes the whole body and the head and neck, disturbance of breathing pattern, and in some a period of extreme stiffness. This is the picture of a fullblown fit, but very often they are much less dramatic, involving only abnormal movements of a single limb for a short period. The disturbed electrical activity may, however, affect the whole brain and this can result in a period of sleepiness or drowsiness after the fit is over.
Although they can be alarming to onlookers, fits rarely result in any harm to the sufferer. When they do, the damage is usually caused by trauma resulting from the abnormal movements, or a head injury if the fit is accompanied by a fall. Sometimes a person vomits while they are fitting, or shortly afterwards. For this reason it is best to lay those who have had a fit on their side or face downwards, but making sure that they can still breathe and that their breathing passages are not obstructed. The ideal position is that known to first-aid workers as ‘semi-prone’.
Posted by admin on April 2nd, 2009 :: Filed under General health
Tags :: General health
You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.