What is Epilepsy?
This condition is a chronic neurological disorder characterized by seizures. A seizure is a surge of electrical energy caused by a misfiring of neurons in the brain. The abnormal signals created by these nerve cells can severely disrupt the body's sensory and motor systems.
Causes of Epilepsy
In some cases, epilepsy can be linked to injury, disease, or developmental abnormalities. But in the majority of cases the cause of epilepsy is unknown.
Types of Seizures
There are many different types of seizures. Hey can be divided into categories and sub-categories based on the location of the seizure in the brain and how the brain and body are affected.
Partial Seizures are the most common type of seizures experienced by people who have epilepsy. These involve only a portion of the brain, and do not cause loss of consciousness. They can have profound effects on the motor, emotional and cognitive regions of the brain, causing repeated, uncontrolled movements, odd sensations and hallucinations, intense emotional reactions and confusion.
Generalized Seizures take place in both sides of the brain and cause momentary loss of consciousness. The grand mal seizure, the most well- known type, is a form of generalized seizure that can cause the body to stiffen and then jerk uncontrollably.
A "trigger" is any stimulus or situation know to increase the likelihood of a seizure. Seizures may be triggered by a variety of factors, including flashing lights, lack of sleep or food, stress, hormones, illness, medications and recreational drugs.