Epilepsy is a neurological disorder caused by unusual nerve cell activity in the brain.
Each year, about 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with this central nervous system disorder that causes seizures. Over a lifetime, 1 in 26 U.S. people will be diagnosed with the disease.
Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disease after migraines, stroke, and Alzheimer’s.
Seizures can cause a range of symptoms, from momentarily staring blankly to loss of awareness and uncontrollable twitching. Some seizures can be milder than others, but even minor seizures can be dangerous if they occur during activities like swimming or driving.
Here’s what you need to know:
In 2017, the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) revised its classification of seizuresfrom two primary groups to three, a change based on three key features of seizures:
- where seizures begin in the brain
- level of awareness during a seizure
- other features of the seizures, like motor skills and auras
These three seizure types are:
- focal onset
- unknown onset