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 A et al (2014) Distribution and predictive factors of seizure types in 104 cases. Equine Vet J 46 (4), 441-445 PubMed
  • Lacombe V A et al (2012) Epilepsy in horses: Aetiological classification and predictive factors. Equine Vet J 44 (6), 646-651 PubMed.

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. Saunders, USA. 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, USA. pp 912-913. ISBN: 0 8151 1743 4.


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