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What Is Epilepsy?


Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder in the world. If you have epilepsy, surges of electrical activity in your brain can cause recurring seizures. We can help you understand everything you need to know about epilepsy and what you can do about it.

Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes recurring, unprovoked seizures. Your doctor may diagnose you with epilepsy if you have two unprovoked seizures or one unprovoked seizure with a high risk of more. Not all seizures are the result of epilepsy. Seizures may relate to a brain injury or a family trait, but often the cause is completely unknown. 

The word "epilepsy" simply means the same thing as "seizure disorders." It does not state anything about the cause of the person's seizures or their severity.

What Is a Seizure?

Seizures are sudden surges of abnormal and excessive electrical activity in your brain and can affect how you appear or act. Where and how the seizure presents itself can have profound effects.

Learn what happens during a seizure and its impact

Seizure Triggers

Having seizures and epilepsy can affect your safety, relationships, work, driving, and so much more. You need to recognize the patterns and situations when seizures are more likely to occur.

Learn to identify seizure triggers

Types of Seizures

Not all seizures are the same. Many people with epilepsy have more than one type of seizure and may have other symptoms of neurological problems as well.

Learn about the different types of seizures

Epilepsy Syndromes

Sometimes your electroencephalogram (EEG) testing, clinical history, family history, and outlook are similar to another group of people with epilepsy. In these situations, your condition can be defined as a specific epilepsy syndrome.

Learn about epilepsy syndromes

Epilepsy Facts & Statistics

Public misunderstanding and treatment of people with epilepsy are often bigger problems than actual seizures. Get the facts on the fourth most common neurological disorder in the world.

Explore facts and stats about epilepsy

Related Resources

Seizure Medication List

In-depth information on epilepsy medications to help you choose the right one.


Epilepsy Device Wiki

Explore our searchable catalog of devices and apps developed for epilepsy.


New to Seizures and Epilepsy Toolkit

A starting point for learning about what epilepsy is and what resources are available.


Seizure Diary App

Nile's seizure diary helps you record, track, and manage your seizures and epilepsy.


Bri’s Story

I was diagnosed with epilepsy at five years old. I had around twenty-one seizures a week, experienced multiple EEGs, trialed multiple medications, and was prescribed twenty pills a day.

Read More

Find an Epilepsy Specialist

Ready for help? Find an Epilepsy specialist who can help guide you through your epilepsy journey.