Can Changes in Blood Pressure Cause Seizures?

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The researchers looked into the relationship between blood pressure and epilepsy.People often ask if changes in blood pressure cause seizures; the answer could be yes, as seizures characterize epilepsy. 

Let’s see some details.

WHAT IS A SEIZURE?

The brain contains billions of neurons (nerve cells) that create and receive electrical impulses. This can cause changes in awareness, behavior, and/or abnormal movements. This activity usually lasts only a few seconds to minutes.

Epilepsy refers to a condition in which a person has a risk of recurring epileptic seizures. Not everyone who has had a seizure has epilepsy.

Epilepsy (Seizures)


After stroke and dementia, the seizure is the third most prevalent neurological illness that affects elderly individuals.

According to research, late-onset epilepsy has become increasingly common in the previous two decades. Despite this, the underlying causes of epilepsy remain unknown in 32–48%. According to a reliable source, vascular risk factors may raise the chance of late-onset epilepsy.

Understanding the importance of vascular risk factors in late-onset epilepsy could assist policymakers in developing public health policies and preventive efforts to reduce and control the condition’s prevalence.

Recently, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine in the United States undertook a study to look into the relationship between vascular risk factors and the beginning of epilepsy.

 The results were published in the Epilepsia.

Data Analysis


The researchers utilized the Framingham Heart Study (FHS), a community-based study that began in 1948. Its Offspring Cohort follows the health outcomes of 5,124 of the original participants’ children through four-year health assessments.

Systolic and diastolic blood pressure were among the vascular risk indicators gathered. The researchers defined high blood pressure as systolic blood pressure of 140 mm Hg or higher, diastolic blood pressure of 90 mm Hg or higher, and the usage of antihypertensive drugs.

Cholesterol levels

Diabetes

Cardiovascular disease 

Smoking status

Body mass index(BMI)

Stroke 

The researchers employed routine record checks for neurological diseases, self-reported seizures, International Classification of Diseases Ninth Revision (ICD-9) codes associated with epilepsy or seizures, and antiepileptic drug use to screen subjects for epilepsy or seizures.  Book an appointment with the Best Cardiologist in Islamabad through Marham.

Underlying Mechanism


Several theories exist to explain the connection between seizures and hypertension. One mechanism could be the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), which regulates blood pressure.

According to Research, rats with recurrent seizures had 2.6–8.2 times RAS components as mice without seizures. Antihypertensive medications that reduced RAS component levels delayed seizure onset and decreased seizure frequency.

However, more investigation is needed to find out how much this mechanism explains the link between epilepsy and hypertension, as previous research suggests the system has a limited effect.

Another probable underlying cause, according to the researchers, is small vessel disease (SVD), a disorder in which the walls of small arteries and capillaries are damaged and consequently do not carry enough oxygen-rich blood to numerous organs.  U fibers connect parts of the cerebral cortex that are close together.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What exactly is a hypertensive seizure?


Seizures can be linked to hypertension in two ways.  This condition is a significant risk factor for late-onset seizures and epilepsy in the elderly. Nonepileptic seizures are episodes that briefly change a person’s behavior and often look like epileptic seizures.

2. What does it feel like to have a seizure in the brain?


You may experience uncontrollable tremors (shaking motions), twitching, or jerking movements. This could occur on one or both sides of your face, arms, legs, or the entire body. 

3. What causes epileptic seizures? 


Syncope, a fainting spell caused by a lack of blood supply to the brain, is frequently confused with seizures. 

Other Conditions That Can Mimic Epilepsy

Numerous other conditions can seem like epilepsy:

  • Narcolepsy (sudden attacks of sleep)
  • Tourette’s syndrome (repetitive involuntary movements or tics)
  • Cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
  • Syncope (fainting)
  • Migraines
  • Transient ischemic attacks (mini-strokes)
  • Panic attacks
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