Epilepsy is a chronic disorder, the hallmark of which is recurrent, unprovoked seizures. A person is diagnosed with epilepsy if they have two unprovoked seizures (or one unprovoked seizure with the likelihood of more) that were not caused by some known and reversible medical condition like alcohol withdrawal or extremely low blood sugar.
The seizures in epilepsy may be related to a brain injury or a family tendency, but often the cause is completely unknown. The word “epilepsy” does not indicate anything about the cause of the person’s seizures or their severity.
Many people with epilepsy have more than one type of seizure and may have other symptoms of neurological problems as well. Sometimes EEG (electroencephalogram) testing, clinical history, family history, and outlook are similar among a group of people with epilepsy. In these situations, their condition can be defined as a specific epilepsy syndrome.
- Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder and affects people of all ages.
- Epilepsy means the same thing as “seizure disorders.”
- Epilepsy is characterized by unpredictable seizures and can cause other health problems.
- Epilepsy is a spectrum condition with a wide range of seizure types and control varying from person-to-person.
- Public misunderstandings of epilepsy cause challenges that are often worse than the seizures.