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glossary - d

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Déjà vu  – the feeling that ‘I’ve been here before’ or ‘I’ve seen this before’. Déjà vu can happen in people who do not have epilepsy but can also be a common simple focal seizure.

Denrdrite  – the part of the neurone that connects to the synaptic terminal of the next neurone.

Depolarised/repolarised  – when the balance of ions inside and outside the neurone changes, which causes the electrical charge of the neurone to change.

Diazepam  – a type of sedative medication that is given to someone in status epilepticus to stop the seizures. Diazepam is given rectally (up the bottom). This is sometimes referred to as a type of 'emergency medication'.

Disability – in the Equality Act 2010, the definition of disability is: a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial [large] and long-term [has or will last 12 months or more] adverse [unpleasant] effect on his ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Although epilepsy is a disability, not everyone with epilepsy feels that they are disabled.

Discrimination  – discrimination means treating someone differently and less well because of a characteristic than someone else, without that characteristic, would be treated in the same situation. Discrimination means that the person with the characteristic is put at a disadvantage compared to other people. There are different 'characteristics' including disability, age and gender.

Dissociative seizures  – these are seizures that can look very like epileptic seizures but, unlike epileptic seizures, they are not caused by distrupted brain activity. These seizures usually have a psychological cause. They might also be called 'non-epileptic seizures'.

Diplopia  – the medical term for double vision. This can be a side effect from some anti-epileptic drugs.

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)  – the material in the cells in our body that determine our characteristics. DNA makes up genes and chromosomes, and is responsible for heredity: how we get and how we pass on, our genetic information.

Dose  – the amount of medication that someone takes. Different AEDs come in different ‘size’ tablets (or capsules, liquids, syrups or sprinkles) which refer to how much of the active ingredient of the drug they are taking.

Drug interactions  – the interaction between two different drugs. If someone is taking more than one drug, the drugs can interact and this can affect how each works. Some drug interactions mean that one or both drugs work more effectively or less effectively. Not all drugs interact.

Drugs  – products (often tablets, capsules, sprinkles, liquids or syrups) that are prescribed in order to prevent, control, cure, or manage the effects of, medical conditions. They are also called medicines or medications.

Drug company  – the companies that find, develop, test and manufacture drugs. Also called Pharmaceutical companies.