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Central nervous system emergencies 

Central nervous system emergencies
Chapter:
Central nervous system emergencies
Author(s):

Nigel D. Robb

and Jason Leitch

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198529316.003.04
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date: 13 December 2017

Introduction 42

Epilepsy 44

Stroke (cerebrovascular accident) 48

Transient ischaemic attack 50

This chapter will deal with emergencies originating in the central nervous system (CNS). The conditions covered are:

Epilepsy

Stroke (cerebrovascular accident)

Transient ischaemic attack (TIA).

Epilepsy is actually a catch-all term for a number of distinct conditions and syndromes with causes ranging from hereditary to unknown. The definition that is generally recognized is ‘a chronic brain disorder of various aetiologies characterized by recurrent seizures due to excessive discharge of cerebral neurons’. For the dental surgeon, the intricacies of the individual diagnosis are unimportant but the ability to recognize and promptly deal with the seizures is vital. The manifestations of the condition range from short absences, where the patient may appear not to be paying attention, through to ‘grand mal’ fits....

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