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Epilepsy

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Definition

Epilepsy is a brain disorder involving repeated, spontaneous seizures of any type. Seizures ("fits," convulsions) are episodes of disturbed brain function that cause changes in attention or behavior. They are caused by abnormally excited electrical signals in the brain.

See also: Seizures

Symptoms

The severity of symptoms can vary greatly, from simple staring spells to loss of consciousness and violent convulsions. For most people with epilepsy, each seizure is similar to previous ones. The type of seizure a person has depends on a variety of things, such as the part of the brain affected and the underlying cause of the seizure.

An aura consisting of a strange sensation (such as tingling, smelling an odor that isn't actually there, or emotional changes) occurs in some people prior to each seizure.

For a detailed description of the symptoms associated with a specific type of seizure, see:

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Seizures
Seizures are changes in the brain's electrical activity. This can cause dramatic, noticeable symptoms or even no symptoms at all. The symptoms of a severe seizure are often widely recognized, including violent shaking and loss of control.  More »

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Involuntary Movements
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