Epilepsy | Overview

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Learn More About Epilepsy

Epilepsy and Pregnancy

What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain. People who have epilepsy have electrical activity in the brain that is not normal, causing seizures. There are different types of 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. Epilepsy is also called a “seizure disorder”.

A single seizure is not considered epilepsy. People who have 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

Reviewed/Updated: 04/14
Created: 09/94

Learn More About Epilepsy

Epilepsy and Pregnancy

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