Functional Neurology for Epilepsy

Few things are more frightening than having a seizure. To contemplate a condition that may appear seemingly out of nowhere and force the body to go into such uncontrollable spasms is, to say the least, terrifying. In this blog, we discuss Functional Neurology for epilepsy treatment.

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological illness characterized by a surge of electrical activity in the brain that results in sudden, recurring seizures. This unexpected, spontaneous, and aberrant firing of neurons might affect a small network of neurons or the entire brain.

Epilepsy affects an estimated 3.4 million Americans, including 3 million adults and 470,000 children. While the illness is widespread, the unpredictability of seizure occurrence can create severe anxiety in persons who have it. The causes of seizures are frequently unknown. An attack can strike without warning, prompting many people to avoid particular hobbies and social situations, lowering their overall quality of life.

The uncertainty of when a seizure will occur generates significant stress. Aside from the stress and worry of not knowing when a seizure will occur, epilepsy can have a detrimental influence on your physical health, mental health, memory, career, and personal life, making it vital to discover a viable treatment option right away.

Functional Neurology for Epilepsy

Warning Symptoms of Seizures and Epilepsy

Before we delve into Functional Neurology for epilepsy, let’s define epilepsy and its warning signs.

Because there are so many different types of seizures, it can be difficult to recognize whether someone is suffering from one.

Some people appear perplexed and may stare out into space, while others may tumble, shake, or become ignorant of what is going on around them.

The majority of seizures can last anywhere between 30 to 120 seconds. If a seizure lasts more than five minutes, it is considered as a medical emergency.

Seizures can be the result of a internal head injury, an infection like meningitis, a stroke, or other conditions. 

Seizures are more common than you may believe. Symptoms will vary based on the underlying reason or causes; nonetheless, most seizure episodes will contain one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Convulsions and muscular spasms in the body
  • Jerking and flailing in the arms and legs on occasion
  • Consciousness loss
  • Dizziness and vision changes
  • Temporary disorientation or awareness loss
  • Concurrent emotional or neurological occurrences (for example, panic attacks or déjà vu)
  • Frothing at the mouth and tongue biting

Traditional Epilepsy Treatment Methods Are Inadequate For Some Patients

Unfortunately, many people with epilepsy struggle to find a treatment that works for them. Most persons with epilepsy are prescribed anti-convulsive drugs by their neurology experts.

While this may work for some, 20 to 30% of epileptic individuals report no difference in the frequency or intensity of their seizures. These drugs also have severe adverse effects that exacerbate existing health problems.

Depression, dizziness, tiredness, hair loss, headaches, irritability, mood changes, nausea, and weight gain are examples of symptoms.

Many epileptic patients, however, feel that current medications are ineffective. One-third of persons with epilepsy do not fully respond to anti-seizure medications, prompting them to consider alternative therapy. Functional Neurology for epilepsy is an example of an alternative treatment.

Stimulating the Vagus nerve, which has been associated with seizure disorders, is another less usual and riskier alternative. A doctor inserts a pulse generator and leads wire into the patient’s body, which electrically stimulates the Vagus nerve to settle aberrant brain activity and prevent seizures. Most people with epilepsy opt out of this dangerous, intrusive procedure that isn’t always effective.

There is hope for those suffering from epilepsy other than prescription medicines and invasive body implants. Seeking the assistance of a functional neurologist can assist in the management of epileptic attacks without the use of standard drugs or pulse generators.

Functional Neurology Principles

How does Functional Neurology for epilepsy come into play? Sometimes referred to as chiropractic neurology, functional neurology focuses on the central and peripheral nervous systems through a clinical evaluation and treatment.

You can think of functional neurology as a type of mental workout. Just like working out your muscles, exercising your brain can help make it stronger.

What does it mean to strengthen the brain? Improve brain function is what we mean by this. This can be accomplished by favorable neuroplastic alterations.

Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to form new connections in order to perform a new function. Consider a developing child learning to walk, talk, or write.

It takes practice, but once mastered, the task becomes second nature. The brain may not be wired correctly or may have a weak or damaged wire as a result of trauma, degeneration, or a developmental hurdle.

A functional neurological treatment is one that encourages the rewiring and/or strengthening of an existing connection.

To increase and improve human function, functional neurology employs a number of evidence-based methods such as visual rehabilitation, vestibular rehabilitation, proprioceptive rehabilitation, and an in-depth study of neuroanatomy and its pathways.

Neuroplasticity is a process that occurs during rehabilitation.

Neuroplasticity is the process by which our brain and nervous system strengthen and grow new neural pathways. It is based on repetitions, exactly like muscle strengthening. You must use a muscle in order to grow it. The same is true for neurons. If you want to enlarge your brain, you must activate the areas you wish to strengthen.

Functional neurology is a type of brain training. Smell, taste, music, balance, vision, movement, and touch all have a role in promoting neuroplasticity changes.

Making a favorable shift towards neuroplasticity requires precision. Treatment must be tailored to the precise portion of the brain that has to be altered, and treatment intensity must be kept within the brain’s metabolic capacity.

If the treatment ends up putting too much strain on frail or broken neurons, it could potentially cause more harm than good.

Managing Seizures Using Functional Neurology

Functional Neurology for epilepsy treatment is starting to get traction. The Vagus nerve, one of the brain’s most important conduits, is the focus of epilepsy therapy.

The longest and most convoluted of the cranial nerves, the Vagus nerve connects the brainstem to the body via the spine and exits at the base of the skull.

Functional neurologists manipulate the upper cervical spine to stimulate the Vagus nerve. Correcting vertebral subluxations, or spine dysfunctions that interfere with appropriate nerve function has been shown in studies to help balance brain function, which may aid in seizure management.

As a result, many chiropractic patients with epilepsy may experience fewer episodes. This has the potential to dramatically improve their overall quality of life. Chiropractic, which tackles the fundamental cause of seizures, can really restore healthy nerve activity.

Chiropractic manipulations are used to reduce nerve pressure that may be interfering with the body’s and neurological system’s communication. These therapies have an overall effect on the body, addressing all diseases caused by subluxations, including those that may be causing seizures.

If the spine has been physically harmed, the resulting injury could be one of the causes of epilepsy. Chiropractors must determine whether the damage is in the higher spinal area in order to link the damaged spine to the seizures immediately.

Other neurological problems, such as cerebral palsy and learning difficulties, may be caused by a spinal injury. Correcting the subluxations could help to alleviate numerous disabilities.

A complete neurological evaluation can assist your practitioner in developing a cohesive treatment strategy that targets and corrects any detected epilepsy abnormalities. To help detect specific abnormalities, various neurological tests and examinations may be conducted.

Chiropractic adjustments help to keep the brain in balance.

There is evidence that chiropractic adjustments have a favorable effect on the brain. Many case studies have demonstrated that regular chiropractic treatments can help reduce the number of seizures experienced by a patient.

They may also be able to lower the severity of seizures when they occur, as well as the duration of the seizures. Some patients indicate that chiropractic treatment eliminates their seizures, even when no medication is used.

Numerous cases of chiropractic patients being helped have been recorded in scholarly literature. Researchers examined 17 youngsters who had received ineffective treatment with anticonvulsive drugs in a 2001 study (link to paper) published in the Journal Of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics.

Following that, all 17 patients got upper neck chiropractic care to repair vertebral subluxations, which chiropractors define as an aberrant spinal function that causes nerve interference and uneven brain activity. 88% of the patients (15 out of 17) had a significant reduction in the frequency and intensity of their epileptic seizures.

Consider a study of seventeen pediatric epileptic patients to demonstrate the benefits of chiropractic for people with epilepsy. Fourteen youngsters were using anti-seizure drugs that did not help them at all.

Fifteen of the patients began getting upper cervical chiropractic care, which included precise adjustments to repair any vertebral subluxations. All of the youngsters who received chiropractic care saw significant improvements in their epileptic symptoms. They were able to better manage their disease and had fewer seizures as a result.