What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a chronic disorder of the brain characterized by an enduring predisposition to epileptic seizures, and by the neurobiological, cognitive, psychological, and social consequences of this condition. An epileptic seizure is a transient occurrence of signs and/or symptoms due to abnormal excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain.

The definition of epilepsy requires the occurrence of at least one epileptic seizure.

Seizures are divided into two categories:

Partial (focal)
- simple partial seizures (with no alteration of consciousness or memory)
- complex partial seizures (with alteration of consciousness or memory)

Several conditions can result in abnormal movements, sensations, or loss of awareness, but not be associated with an abnormal electrical discharge in the brain. These are imitators of epilepsy.

The most important issues for patients with epilepsy are social. Although physicians, in their clinic encounters with patients, talk most about seizure frequency, medication side effects, and results of testing, patients may have a different set of concerns.

Epilepsy is a condition affects one percent of the world’s population. It is the most prevelant major neuroligical disorder which affects people of all ages. Currently, approximately five percent of people will have at least one seizure in their lifetime.