Epilepsy Symptoms and Causes

Epilepsy is a nervous system disorder (neurological disorder) in which the nerve cell activity in your brain is disturbed, causing you to experience unusual behavior and sensations, loss of consciousness, or seizures

Epilepsy is not a rare condition, and can affect almost anyone. In fact, most people know someone with epilepsy. Numerous famous people have had epilepsy, from Julius Caesar, the ruler of the Roman Empire to Danny Glover, an actor who has starred in many popular action movies and Marion Clignet, a silver medal Olympic cyclist.


Symptoms vary depending on the type of seizure. In most cases, a person with epilepsy will tend to have the same type of seizure each time, so the symptoms will be similar from episode to episode.

  • Temporary confusion
  • Convulsions
  • A staring spell
  • Uncontrollable jerking movements of the arms and legs
  • Loss of consciousness or awareness
  • Delayed speech
  • Drop attacks
  • Brief panic attacks.
  • Temporary lapse  language disturbance.

Facts About Epilepsy

  • 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