Epilepsy is a neurological disorder where the nerve cells in your brain are disturbed, causing seizures which can vary from unnoticeable to convulsing fits. A seizure occurs when brain cells that control body functions generate abnormal or excessive electrical discharges.
Doctors generally classify seizures as either focal or generalized, based on how the abnormal brain activity begins. When seizures result from abnormal activity in just one area of the brain, they are called focal or partial seizures. Seizures that involve all areas of the brain are called generalized seizures.
Focal or partial seizures originate in one part of the brain. Simple focal seizures do not cause loss of consciousness, but may affect sensory perceptions and result in involuntary jerking of part of the body.
Complex focal seizures change consciousness or awareness, and may result in non-purposeful movements, such as walking in circles or staring.
Generalized seizures appear to involve the whole brain.
Risk factors can make a person more likely to have seizures and epilepsy. Some risk factors can include:
Diagnosing epilepsy may include brain imaging, blood work and electroencephalogram (EEG). EEGs are conducted by putting electrodes on the patient’s scalp to record brain wave activity. Other imaging tests that may be used are CT or MRI scans that help our team determine if there are any lesions in the brain that may be causing the seizures.
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