Menu Close

(2.11) What is epilepsy?

(2.11) What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a condition in the brain that makes people have seizures. A seizure is a change in sensation, awareness, or behavior brought about by a brief electrical disturbance in the brain. Seizures vary in intensity. Some cause moments of sensory disruption. Others cause short periods of unconsciousness, staring spells, and shaking. Some people have just one kind of seizure. Others have more than one kind. Although they look different, all seizures are caused by the same thing: a sudden change in how the brain cells send electrical signals.

If you have epilepsy, you probably already know that it is not a mental disorder. It can be caused by anything that affects the brain, including tumors and strokes. Sometimes epilepsy is inherited. Sometimes no cause is found.

Doctors treat epilepsy with seizure-preventing medicines, surgery, diet, or electrical stimulation. If the treatment works and your seizures are under control, you may not be eligible for regional center services.

For more information on epilepsy, click here and here.