Epilepsy page 1 1. Epilepsy: A Case Study Comparing Western and
Traditional Chinese Treatment Procedures
2. by Hila Ravid, Shai Ravid and Reuven Ravid
4. Epilepsy is the world’s most common neurological
1disease. Western medicine treats epilepsy primarily
with medication and, infrequently, surgery.
Traditional Chinese medicine uses a combination of
acupuncture and herbal formulas. A case study
describes the successful treatment of a 24-year-old
woman by traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).
6. Epilepsy, Dian Xian, traditional Chinese medicine,
Western medicine, Acupuncture, Phlegm, Wind, Fire,
Yin deficiency, Liver, Spleen, Heart, Kidney.
8. Throughout the centuries, in different cultures,
certain superstitions grew up regarding epilepsy.
The ancient Greeks for example, called epilepsy the
sacred disease, and even in Martin Luther’s time
epilepsy was referred to as a demonic illness. In
the Middle Ages and into the modern era, the common
belief was that devils and ghosts were responsible
for epilepsy. According to the Talmud, one of the
holy books of Judaism, epilepsy was regarded as a
disease of (demonic) possession. It was only at the
thend of the 19 century, when western medicine began
to provide neurological clues as to the disease
process, that the prejudices against epilepsy
gradually begin to recede.
Epilepsy page 2
art One: Epilepsy as understood by Western 9. P
210. Definition of epilepsy
11. Epilepsy is a brain disorder marked by electrical disturbances in brain wave frequency, which results in a seizure.
312. Varieties of epilepsy
13. Seizures are classified as either generalised or partial and may be primary (idiopathic) or secondary. Where the electrical disturbances are spread throughout the entire brain the disease is called general epilepsy; when they are restricted to a particular area of the brain it is called partial or focal epilepsy.
14. Primary (idiopathic) epilepsy
15. In this case the cause of the seizures is unknown and there is no indication of previous brain damage. In about five to ten percent of cases there is a genetic basis. Even an electro encephalogram (EEG) may not provide a clear-cut indication that a
16. There are two major types of idiopathic epilepsy:
517. Tonic-clonic (grand mal)
i. In the tonic phase of the seizure,
breathing stops due to contractions of the
air passages, and in the clonic phase
there are convulsions. The patient may
vomit, and after regaining consciousness
can experience such symptoms as headache,
Epilepsy page 3
muscle pains and a desire to sleep. These
seizures can vary as to frequency and
length. This type of epilepsy usually
begins between the ages of four and 20
years and often ceases naturally as the
patient gets older. Seizures, which begin
after 25 years of age, are generally of
the secondary variety.
618. Absence (petit mal)
a. These seizures are very brief, lasting only
five to ten seconds. During this time the
patient is unresponsive and immobile although
there may be tremors of the eyelids or
shoulders. This particular seizure returns
several times daily, and after the seizure the
patient has no conscious recollection of what
happened. This type of epilepsy usually ceases
719. Secondary epilepsy
20. This type of epilepsy results from damage to the brain cortex and may be due to viral infections, tumours, foreign objects, metabolic disease such as hypoglycaemia, anorexia nervosa, calcium deficiency, genetic diseases, vascular accidents etc. Seizures can appear either days or years after the injury to the brain.
22. Management of the symptoms is aimed at improving the patient’s quality of life by reducing or eliminating seizures. Treatment can be drug based or involve a surgical procedure.
Epilepsy page 4 Antiepileptics/anticonvulsants are generally efficient in treating most seizures, however side effects and toxicity can be a problem. Surgical procedures can be used for the prevention of seizures but this is only undertaken where the patient has not responded to conventional treatment and is considered to be at high risk.
923. Drug Treatment
24. Name of 25. Type 26. Us27. Opti28. Selected
drug of ual mal side effects
seizures adult (Therapeut
daily ic) level
dose of drug in
(mg/kg) the blood
29. Phenytoin 30. Toni31. 4-32. 10-33. Nystagmu
c-clonic, 8 20 s, ataxia,
34. Carbamazep35. Toni36. 5-37. 4-8 38. Nystagmu
ine c-clonic, 25 s, dysarthria,
39. Valproic 40. Toni41. 1042. 50-43. Nausea,
acid c-clonic, -60 100 vomiting,
44. Phenobarbi45. Toni46. 2-47. 10-48. Drowsine
tal c-clonic, 5 40 ss, nystagmus,
focal ataxia, skin
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etc. 49. Primidone 50. Toni51. 5-52. 5-15 53. Sedation
c-clonic, 20 , nystagmus,
nausea, etc. 54. Ethosuximi55. abse56. 2057. 40-58. Nausea,
de nce -35 100 vomiting,
lethargy, etc. 59. Clonazepam 60. abse61. 0.62.