In the United States, about two million people have epilepsy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With epilepsy, neurons in the brain send abnormal signals, causing seizures. Someone who have epilepsy will have several seizures over their lifetime.
These abnormal electrical signals result from permanent damage to the brain tissue, from stroke, congenital brain defect, brain tumor or traumatic brain injury. People can have epilepsy at any age, though it commonly starts between the ages of 5 and 20, according to MedlinePlus.
The symptoms of epilepsy that patients have depend on the type of seizures that she has. Seizures can be grouped into two broad categories: focal seizures and generalized seizures.
With a focal seizure, the abnormal electrical activity only occurs on one side of the brain. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke stated that about 60 percent of patients with epilepsy have focal seizures.