Seizures Then and Now

By | 08.04.2017

Word List. Unit 19

  • An airway is the passage by which air reaches a person’s lungs.
    Since he was sick, mucus would occasionally get stuck in his airway.
  • The Almighty is a name for a god in a religion.
    Before eating, they thanked the Almighty for their food.
  • An advent is the arrival or beginning of an important person, thing, or event.
    During the advent of radio, very few programs actually played music.
  • A constellation is a group of stars with a recognizable shape.
    That constellation in the shape of a square is named after a flying horse.
  • If something is definitive, then it is the most official.
    This library has the definitive collection of books on ancient Egypt.
  • To equate one thing with another is to compare them and consider them very similar.
    She equated the man’s messy appearance with a lack of responsibility.
  • To inhale means to take air or a smell into the lungs.
    The camper inhaled the cool and fresh mountain air and felt relaxed.
  • To invoke something is to mention it to support an argument or ask for help.
    Before going into battle, the soldier invoked the name of his god for protection.
  • If something is lunar, then it is related to the moon.
    During a lunar eclipse, Earth’s shadow darkens the moon’s surface.
  • A novelty is something that is new, original, or strange.
    Ice cream was a novelty for him since he rarely had any.
  • If something is outmoded, then it is no longer in fashion or use.
    Black and white television sets are outmoded.
  • To personalize something means to design it to meet a person’s unique needs.
    He personalized the woman’s exercises to give her a better workout.
  • To pertain to something means to be related or connected to it.
    All of the lawyer’s questions pertained to events around the night of the crime.
  • If something is primal, then it is very basic or related to the origin of something.
    Cooking the food over the camp fire felt like a primal way of making a meal.
  • If something is psychiatric, then it is related to mental illness or its treatment.
    The doctor said the patient might have a psychiatric problem.
  • Psychiatry is the study and treatment of mental illness.
    Studying psychiatry has taught me a lot about mental illness.
  • A reflex is an unconscious action in which a body part responds to an event.
    There was a reflex when the doctor hit his knee with a rubber hammer.
  • A seizure is sudden illness in which the body loses control and shakes.
    Bright flashing lights can cause seizures in children.
  • A session is a meeting at a regular time in orderto discuss and solve an issue.
    Every three months the managers met in a session to discuss regional sales.
  • A utensil is a common tool or container.
    It seemed that a fork was the wrong utensil for trying to eat the soup.

Seizures Then and Now

If a person who lived 200 years ago was treated for a seizure today, they would be surprised by the treatment’s novelty. That’s because doctors in the 1800s were influenced more by primal medical beliefs than science. Rather than thinking the brain caused seizures, people in the 1800s still thought they were the result of strange forces. They equated seizures with the work of evil spirits. Others felt that the seizures had a cosmic or lunar cause. They believed that the cycles of the moon and constellations could make someone have a seizure.

During a session to treat a patient who had seizures, doctors would force the patient to invoke the grace of the Almighty. They thought if the patient did this, then the patient would rid themselves of the evil spirits causing the seizures. The advent of modern psychiatry occurred during the 1800s. At that time people who suffered from seizures were placed in psychiatric hospitals. They were treated like they were insane. However, none of the outmoded treatments worked. It wasn’t until the late 1850s that the causes of seizures were understood. We know today that these causes pertain to the brain. Misfired signals from the brain cause a jerking reflex in the body. These usually occur when someone is very tired.

Once the causes of seizures were known, definitive treatments were developed. Today, treatments range from taking pills to having surgery. Treatment is personalized according to the type of seizure the patient has. Even today, some people are unsure about seizures. Their most common mistake is thinking that a person having a seizure will swallow their tongue. They often shove some utensil in the person’s mouth. However, this doesn’t help. The utensil often blocks the airway and prevents the person from inhaling. Yet most of the public no longer fear people who have seizures. Instead, they can now help and comfort a person if they have a seizure.

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