Epilepsy is a neurological condition, which affects the nervous system. Epilepsy is also known as a seizure disorder. It is usually diagnosed after a person has had at least two seizures that were not caused by some known medical condition like alcohol withdrawal or extremely low blood sugar. Sometimes, according to the International League Against Epilepsy, epilepsy can be diagnosed after one seizure, if a person has a condition that places them at high risk for having another.
The seizures in epilepsy may be related to a brain injury or a family tendency, but most of the time the cause is unknown. The word "epilepsy" does not indicate anything about the cause of the person's seizures, what type they are, or how severe they are.
Up to 5% of the world’s population may have a single seizure at some time in their lives.
It is likely that around 60 million people in the world have epilepsy at any one time.
Children and adolescents are more likely to have epilepsy of unknown or genetic origin than adults.
Epilepsy can start at any age.
Recent studies show that seizures in up to 70% of children and adults with newly diagnosed epilepsy can be controlled with medications; however, many of these people experience treatment-related side effects.
Seizures in up to 30% of people with epilepsy do not respond to available medications.