Facts About Epilepsy
Epilepsy is caused by abnormal activity in brain cells, leading to seizures. A seizure can produce temporary confusion, complete loss of consciousness, a staring spell, or uncontrollable jerking movements of the arms and legs.
Symptoms vary depending on the type of seizure. In most cases, a person with epilepsy will tend to have the same type of seizure each time, so the symptoms will be very similar from episode to episode. Some individuals with epilepsy have many different types of seizures, with different symptoms each time.
It is believed that head injuries are responsible for many cases of epilepsy.
- Finding the right medication and dosage can be complex. A doctor likely will first prescribe a single drug at a relatively low dosage, and may increase the dosage gradually until the seizures are well controlled.
- Most people with epilepsy can become seizure-free by using a single anti-epileptic drug. Others can decrease the frequency and intensity of their seizures with medication.
- More than half the children with medication-controlled epilepsy eventually stop medications and live a seizure-free life. Many adults also can discontinue medication after two or more years without seizures.