It is a persistent brain condition characterized by seizures. An epileptic focus is a location in the brain where excessive, uncontrolled electrical impulses are produced. There are various types of epilepsy. In some cases, the cause may be discovered, while in others, it is unknown.
Epilepsy is prevalent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, active epilepsy affects around 1.2% of the US population. Epilepsy affects people of all genders, races, ethnicities, and ages.

Seizure symptoms might vary greatly. Some people may lose consciousness during a seizure, but others do not. Some people have seizures that cause them to look blankly for a few seconds. Others may repeatedly jerk their limbs or legs, a condition known as convulsions.

Having a single seizure does not indicate that you have epilepsy. Epilepsy is diagnosed after you have experienced at least two unprovoked seizures that are at least 24 hours apart. Unprovoked seizures lack a clear cause.

For the majority of persons with epilepsy, medication or surgery may be used to manage their seizures. Some folks require lifetime care. Others get seizures that fade away. Some epileptic youngsters may outgrow their ailment as they get older.
Approximately half of those suffering from epilepsy have no known etiology. In the other half, the disease might be attributed to a variety of circumstances, including:
  • Genetics. Certain kinds of epilepsy run in families. In these cases, there is likely a hereditary component. Researchers have connected certain forms of epilepsy to certain genes. However, some persons have genetic epilepsy that is not inherited. A kid might experience genetic alterations that are not handed down from their parents.
  • Most people's epilepsy is caused by more than just their genes. Certain genes may increase a person's sensitivity to environmental circumstances that cause seizures.
  • Head trauma. Epilepsy can be caused by head trauma from a vehicle accident or another type of traumatic damage.
  • Brain-related factors. Epilepsy may be caused by brain tumors. Epilepsy can also be caused by how blood vessels grow in the brain. Seizures are possible in people with blood vessel disorders such as arteriovenous and cavernous malformations. In people over the age of 35, stroke is the major cause of epilepsy.
  • Infections. Meningitis, HIV, viral encephalitis, and some parasite illnesses can all induce epilepsy.
  • Injury occurs before birth. Before birth, newborns are vulnerable to brain injury caused by a variety of circumstances. They might include a maternal illness, inadequate nutrition, or a lack of oxygen. This brain injury can cause epilepsy or cerebral palsy.
  • Developmental conditions. Epilepsy is occasionally associated with developmental problems. People with autism are more prone to develop epilepsy than those without autism. According to research, persons with epilepsy are more likely to have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other developmental disorders. Having both illnesses might be linked to genes.
Seizure triggers
Seizures can be triggered by things in the environment. Seizure triggers don't cause epilepsy, but they may trigger seizures in people who have epilepsy. Most people with epilepsy don't have reliable triggers that always cause a seizure. However, they often can identify factors that make it easier to have a seizure. Possible seizure triggers include:
  • Alcohol.
  • Flashing lights.
  • Illicit drug use.
  • Skipping doses of antiseizure medicines or taking more than prescribed.
  • Lack of sleep.
  • Hormone changes during the menstrual cycle.
  • Stress.
  • Dehydration.
  • Skipped meals.
  • Illness.
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