The National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines epilepsy as, “a brain disorder involving repeated, spontaneous seizures of any type,” with seizures being abnormal electrical activity in the brain.
Epilepsy can be caused by a variety of conditions in the brain. Some of the causes of epilepsy are injuries to the brain, like from a stroke or tumor, injuries around the type of birth and traumatic brain injury. Certain diseases, like dementia, metabolic disease, brain infections and kidney or liver failure may also be responsible. The cause may also be present at birth through a congenital brain defect, or may be idiopathic, meaning there is no specific cause.
When a patient is having an epileptic seizure, her symptoms can range from mild to severe. She may just have a staring spell, where it seems she is looking off at nothing in particular, or they could have a loss of consciousness or convulsions. However, if the woman is pregnant when she has an epileptic seizure, it can have effects on her unborn child.
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