Epilepsy is a chronic disorder that causes unprovoked, recurrent seizures. A seizure is a sudden rush of electrical activity in the brain.
There are two main types of seizures. Generalized seizures affect the whole brain. Focal, or partial seizures, affect just one part of the brain.
A mild seizure may be difficult to recognize. It can last a few seconds during which you lack awareness.
Stronger seizures can cause spasms and uncontrollable muscle twitches, and can last a few seconds to several minutes. During a stronger seizure, some people become confused or lose consciousness. Afterward you may have no memory of it happening.
There are several reasons you might have a seizure. These include:
For 6 out of 10 people with epilepsy, the cause can’t be determined. A variety of things can lead to seizures.
Possible causes include:
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Epilepsy is a condition that causes seizures — temporary glitches in the brain’s electrical activity. These electrical disruptions can cause a range of symptoms. Some people stare off into space, some make jerky movements, while others lose consciousness.
Doctors don’t know what causes epilepsy. Genes, brain conditions like tumors or strokes, and head injuries may be involved in some cases. Because epilepsy is a brain disorder, it can affect many different systems throughout the body.
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