What is epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain. People with epilepsy have brain cells that create abnormal electricity, causing seizures. In some cases, a seizure may cause jerking, uncontrolled movements and loss of consciousness. In other cases, seizures cause only a period of confusion, a staring spell or muscle spasms.
A single seizure is not considered epilepsy. People with epilepsy have repeated episodes of seizures.
Epilepsy is not a mental illness, and it is not a sign of low intelligence. It is also not contagious. Seizures do not normally cause brain damage. Between seizures, a person with epilepsy is no different from anyone else.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff