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Epilepsy Definition & Overview

Definition

Brain cells send messages to the body through electrical signals. A seizure happens when there are abnormal electrical signals in the brain. During a seizure, you may:

  • Lose consciousness
  • Stare into space
  • Have convulsions (abnormal jerking of the muscles)
  • Experience abnormalities of sensation or emotion

When two or more seizures occur it is considered a seizure disorder. This condition is also known as epilepsy.

Seizure disorders may be classified by the part of the brain they affect and the kinds of symptoms they cause. The main categories are:

  • Generalized seizure disorder—thought to arise throughout the brain, not from a single focal location
  • Partial seizure disorder (focal seizure)—caused by more localized abnormalities; happens within certain areas of the brain

Brain Cells (Neurons)

© 2009 Nucleus Medical Art, Inc.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2019 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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