Skip to main content

UR Medicine



         For more information, please visit the Strong Epilepsy Center and Pediatric Epilepsy Program sites.

What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy, also called a seizure disorder, is defined as a neurological disorder that involves recurrent seizures. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), it is estimated that epilepsy affects 1 percent of the US population (about 2.5 million people).

Transmission of information from nerve cell to nerve cell occurs by electrochemical process. Abnormal patterns in the electrical activity may cause seizures. A seizure disorder includes any condition in which there are repeated episodes of seizures of any type.

What are the symptoms of epilepsy?

Epilepsy is characterized by seizures of any type that occur on a chronic, recurrent basis and have no known cause. In addition to seizures, the following are the most common symptoms of epilepsy. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently.

Symptoms may include:

  • headache
  • changes in mood or energy level
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • confusion
  • memory loss

Some people may also experience an aura - sensations that indicate a seizure is imminent just prior to onset. The symptoms of epilepsy may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.