Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Epilepsy: overview

Synonym(s): Epileptic fits, seizures, convulsions, forebrain disease, seizure disorders

Contributor(s): Caroline Hahn, Karen McCormick, Graham Munroe, Carla Sommardahl

Introduction

  • The forebrain is the largest part of the brain and consists of the cerebrum, the thalamus, the hypothalamus, and the limbic system.
  • Cause: there are many extracranial and intracranial causes of forebrain disease that will manifest as seizure disorders.
  • Signs: forebrain diseases cause changes in mentation or behavior; and may present as hyperexciteablity, hyperesthesia, obtundation, self-mutilation, blindness, and seizures.
  • Diagnosis: history and clinical signs, neurological examination, hematology, biochemistry, serology, EEG.
  • Treatment: anticonvulsants.
  • Prognosis: good.

Pathogenesis

Pathophysiology

  • A true seizure occurs due to rapid excessive electric discharges from the cerebral cortex, and refers to a specific clinical event regardless of cause or morphology.
  • Epilepsy refers to reoccurring seizures with non-progressive intracranial alterations that are acquired or genetic.
  • Seizures are classified into three broad forms based on clinical signs:
    • Partial seizure.
    • Generalized seizure.
    • Status epilepticus.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Lacombe V Aet al(2014)Distribution and predictive factors of seizure types in 104 cases.Equine Vet J46(4), 441-445PubMed
  • Lacombe V Aet al(2012)Epilepsy in horses: Aetiological classification and predictive factors.Equine Vet J44(6), 646-651PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Lacombe V & Furr M (2008)Differential Diagnosis and Management of Horses with Seizures or Alterations in Consciousness.In:Equine Neurology. Eds: Furr M & Reed S. Ames, Iowa: Blackwell Publishing. pp 77-93.
  • Andrews F M & Matthews H K (2004)Seizures, Narcolepsy and Cataplexy.In:Equine Internal Medicine. Eds: Reed S M, Bayly W M & Sellon D C. St. Louis, MO; Saunders. pp 560-565.
  • Hahn C N, Mayhew I G & Mackay R J (1999)diseases of the Forebrain Multifactorial diseases.In:Equine Medicine & Surgery. Eds: Colahan P T, Mayhew I G, Merritt A M & Moore J N. Mosby Philadelphia. pp 912-913. ISBN: 0 8151 1743 4.


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