This is a problem with the electrical activity of your brain's nerve cells. These cells are called "neurons." With epilepsy, they sometimes send out disorganized signals. When this happens, you can suddenly lose control of your body for a brief time. There may be a change in how you act or feel. We call this a "seizure."


We don't always know what causes epilepsy. In some people, it has been linked to illness or to a brain injury. In others, it may be linked to a problem with the brain's development, or to some other factor.

Types of Seizures

Epilepsy can cause different types of seizures, depending on what part of your brain is affected. A seizure that affects only part of your brain is called a "partial" seizure. When you are having one, you may have intense emotional feelings. It can cause confusion and loss of awareness. You may repeat movements over and over. You may have changes in vision, hearing and your sense of smell. A seizure that affects your entire brain is called a "generalized" seizure. This type of seizure can cause you to lose consciousness. It can make your body jerk uncontrollably.


For most people, epilepsy can be managed with medications. There are also surgical options. Your healthcare provider can create a care plan that is right for your needs.