EP - Epilepsy, Epileptic, Epileptic fits, Epileptic convulsions, Epileptic attack, Epilepsy (disorder), Epileptic disorder, Epileptic seizures,Epilepsy, not refractory (disorder), Epilepsy, not intractable,epilepsy visual,Focal motor seizure, NOS, Focal motor seizure (disorder), epilepsy, focal motor NOS,psychomotor epilepsy, psychomotor, Psychomotor epilepsy (disorder), Psychomotor epilepsy, Complex partial epileptic seizure,epilepsy, temporal lobe, sensory-induced,epilepsy syndrome, epileptic syndrome,

Epilepsy is a condition that affects the brain and causes repeated seizures.


The cells in the brain, known as neurons, conduct electrical signals and communicate with each other in the brain using chemical messengers. During a seizure, there are abnormal bursts of neurons firing off electrical impulses, which can cause the brain and body to behave strangely.

The severity of seizures can differ from person to person. Some people simply experience an odd feeling with no loss of awareness, or may have a "trance-like" state for a few seconds or minutes, while others lose consciousness and have convulsions (uncontrollable shaking of the body).

Some people may only have a single seizure at some point during their life. If they do not have a high risk of having further seizures, they would not be regarded as having epilepsy.

This is because many people have a one-off epileptic seizure during their lifetime.

The most important information needed to make a diagnosis is a description of your seizures from yourself and someone who witnessed the event, but tests may also be carried out to help determine which areas of your brain are affected and look for a potential cause.

These medications cannot cure epilepsy, but they are often very effective in controlling seizures.

It can take some time to find the right type and correct dose of AED before your seizures can be controlled.

In a few cases, surgery may be used to remove a specific area of the brain that is affected or to install an electrical device that can help control seizures.


Living with epilepsy

While epilepsy is different for everyone, there are some general rules that can make living with the condition easier.

It's important to stay healthy through regular exercise, getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet and avoiding excessive drinking.

You may have to think about your epilepsy before you undertake things such as driving, using contraception and planning a pregnancy.

Advice is available from your GP or support groups to help you adjust to life with epilepsy.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 17 Aug 2016