Epilepsy is a brain disorder in which clusters of nerve cells, or neurons, in the brain sometimes signal abnormally. In epilepsy, the normal pattern of neuronal activity becomes disturbed, causing strange sensations, emotions, and behavior or sometimes convulsions, muscle spasms, and loss of consciousness. Epilepsy is a disorder with many possible causes. Anything that disturbs the normal pattern of neuron activity - from illness to brain damage to abnormal brain development - can lead to seizures. Epilepsy may develop because of an abnormality in brain wiring, an imbalance of nerve signaling chemicals called neurotransmitters, or some combination of these factors. Having a seizure does not necessarily mean that a person has epilepsy. Only when a person has had two or more seizures is he or she considered having epilepsy. EEGs and brain scans are common diagnostic test for epilepsy.
Most people who have epilepsy will probably have seizures, the brain is the center that controls and regulates all voluntary and involuntary responses in the body. It consists of nerve cells that normally communicate with each other through electrical activity. Epilepsy, sometimes called a seizure disorder, is a chronic medical condition produced by temporary changes in the electrical function of the brain, causing seizures which affect awareness, movement, or sensation. Symptoms of the disorder are: Staring, jerking movements of arm and legs, loss of consciousness, stiffness of the body, breathing problems, nodding of the head, and rapid blinking and staring. Epilepsy and seizures affect about 2.3 million Americans, and result in an estimated annual cost of $12.5 billion in medical costs and lost or reduced earnings and production. People of all ages are affected, but particularly the very young and the elderly. About 10% of Americans will experience a seizure, and about 3% will have or will have had a diagnosis of epilepsy by age 80.