my brother has had a few seizures in the past yr. i need help finding out more

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Hi everyone. I was trying to do my research on epilepsy and seizures, and came across this forum. I hope some of you can shed some light on my situation.

About a year ago, my older brother had a seizure. And since then he's had a couple more. We think it's due to stress (and our family has had some problems in the past year that put a strain on our mental health). He was okay for some months. But a problem cropped up in our family two weeks ago, and he's starting to experience his neurological problems again.

He's been suddenly feeling sleepy, losing awareness, and feeling hungry. When he loses his awareness, he often talks about things that are unrelated to the conversation. His movement is slow, his speech is slurred, and his estimation/judgement of where things are is affected. For example, just last night he was smoking. I was keeping an eye on him because I knew he was having one of those episodes. He raised his hand to remove his cigarette from his mouth, but his finger hit the end of the cigarette where the fire is. He gets very hungry as well during these episodes.

He's also been very bad with his memory, repeatedly talking about things he's talked about before, having no recollection of certain events, etc.

Can somebody tell me if there's a name for the episode I described earlier? The one where he's losing awareness, etc. It's not a full-on seizure, but I'd like to know if there's a name for it so I can do my research on it.

This has been hard on me, and he's been upset and frustrated about it too. I cannot bear to see him like this, it makes me want to tear up each time I see him in that state. Which is why any and all help I can get would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
Hi matchaamikk --

Seizures where the person retains some awareness/consciousness are called focal seizures (the terminology keeps changing). For a description of the different seizures types, is a good resource. Here is their link for focal onset seizures:

Has your brother seen a neurologist? Is he on any medication? It’s important to try and get seizures under control, since the more you have, the more likely they are to become more frequent, longer-lasting, and/or severe.

It’s great that your brother has identified stress as a secondary seizure trigger -- if he can be proactive about planning for stress, that might help. That means practicing daily stress-relieving techniques (breathing exercises, mini-meditations), and doing his best to take care of his overall health: getting enough sleep, eating and drinking properly, etc. Seeing a therapist might be helpful too, especially if family-stress is recurrent and unavoidable.

Please feel free to ask more questions here, and good luck to you and your brother.

Stress is a big seizure trigger for me and many other people too.

He's also been very bad with his memory, repeatedly talking about things he's talked about before, having no recollection of certain events, etc.

Memory problems can be a normal thing with epilepsy. A good bit of the time after a seizure I won't remember what happened before it. It could be just a few hours, days or even longer.

My long term memory isn't that great either. I've gone places that I don't even remember going and doing things that I've done.

I'll tell people the same stories about things that happened or that I've done all the time. So often that they will finish the story for me.

I'm constantly asking the same questions over and over again. My parents get frustrated because I keep asking them the same question not realizing that I've already asked it over 10 times. Sometimes the answer will finally stay up there and other times it doesn't. My ex would get so mad because I kept asking him if president Regan was alive? He'd tell me he had died and we'd watched his funeral on TV. I bet it took at least two years before it stuck in.

Good luck and ask as many questions want.
Hi matchaamilkk,

Welcome to the forum! Lack of sleep and stress are the 2 main things that can trigger seizures for many people. I also found that
if I'm around people using cell phones at the same time that will trigger seizures for me because I'm cell phone sensitive meaning
the frequency of the cell phone will trigger seizures for me.

You should have your brothers family Dr. refer him to see a Epileptologist which is a Dr. who specializes in epilepsy. This kind of Dr.
can pinpoint the cause of the seizures and do a DNA test on him to find the best seizure med for him with the least side effects.
One thing I learned was to stay away from NutraSweet (aspartame) which you can find in diet soda the NutraSweet causes more
electrical activity in the brain and in turn it can trigger seizures for many people.

My short term memory isn't that good anymore because I've had seizures for over 50 yrs. and in turn that caused the hippocampus
of my brain to shrink and become hard so when I had surgery done to reduce my seizures my surgeon removed it because it wasn't
doing me any good. I have found that using the medical marijuana was the best thing to help my seizures along with taking vitamin B12
once a day.

Tell your brother to keep track of his seizures by writing down what time they happened on a calendar along with the type of seizure
he may have had, by doing this it will help the neurologist or Epileptologist see a possible pattern in the seizures as to what time of
day/night they happen and what days of the month. I often have more seizures when there's a low pressure in the weather and thats
because the air gets heavy and in turn that will mess around with the hormones and that's what triggers the seizures.

I wish your brother and you only the best and May God Bless the Both of You,

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