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A – Z of Illnesses & Conditions

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Epilepsy


Epilepsy:  Epilepsy is a brain disorder in which a person has repeated seizures (convulsions - uncontrollable shaking of the body) over time. Seizures are episodes of disturbed brain activity that cause changes in attention or behaviour.  Epilepsy occurs when permanent changes in brain tissue cause the brain to be too excitable or jumpy. The brain sends out abnormal signals. This results in repeated, unpredictable seizures.

A single seizure that does not happen again is not epilepsy. Epilepsy may be due to a medical condition or injury that affects the brain or the cause may be unknown. Common causes of epilepsy include stroke, dementia such as Alzheimer's disease, traumatic brain injury, brain tumour and abnormal blood vessels in the brain.

Symptoms vary from person to person. Some people may have simple spells, while others have violent shaking and loss of alertness. The type of seizure depends on the part of the brain affected and cause of epilepsy.

For most people with epilepsy, treatment with medications called anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) is recommended. These medications cannot cure epilepsy, but they are often very effective in controlling seizures.

Epilepsy is most often diagnosed after you have had more than one seizure. This is because many people have a one-off epileptic seizure during their lifetime. The most important information needed to make a diagnosis is a description of your seizures from yourself and someone who witnessed the event, but tests may also be carried out to help determine which areas of your brain are affected and look for a potential cause.
 
CONVULSIONS

Always seek the advice of your doctor before taking herbal remedies
    


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