Epilepsy refers to a common neurological disorder characterized by multiple recurrent unprovoked seizures. Nearly 50 million persons world wide suffer from epilepsy. A seizure refers to sudden but transient symptoms due to an abnormal and excessive electrical neuronal (brain cell) discharge. Such seizures have multiple symptoms and signs such as altered awareness, strange sensations or behavior alterations to muscle twitching and frank convulsions. Epilepsy has multiple causes including genetic, as a consequence of brain trauma, a stroke or brain tumor, and often without any identifiable cause. They can be classified by their cause(if known), the observable manifestations by a witness (or video-EEG) known as semiology, by the location in the brain where the seizure originates, or as part of an identifiable syndrome or event trigger. The diagnosis is made by the neurologist in consideration of the medical history and Electroencephalogram (EEG). Other tools such as brain MRI, SPECT or PET scan may assist in the diagnosis. Epilepsy rarely is cured but 70-80 percent of those diagnosed can be controlled by one of a dozen anti epileptic medications. In some cases brain surgery or a vagal nerve stimulator (VNS) will be recommended by your neurologist to treat poorly controlled intractable seizures. Diet and lifestyle changes may also modify the disease.

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