These are a group of disorders characterized by occurrence of seizures. Technically epilepsy is defined as an occurrence of more than one unprovoked seizure. Seizures can be of different types, and simply defined, is an electrical dysfunction of the neurons of the brain. The most commonly recognize seizure type is probably generalized tonic-clonic seizure, during which the subject has involuntary stiffening and contractions of all muscles of the body followed by loss of consciousness. This is a very dramatic event, and if severe, can also be life-threatening. However, there are other types of seizures, which may or may not involve motor activity. Some involve auras followed by loss of consciousness. Thankfully, there are several medications available for treatment. Some of the medications need to be tailor-made according to the seizure type. Regular follow-ups with the neurologist are necessary to monitor drug levels as well as liver function tests and blood counts. Once the seizures are well controlled, persons usually lead normal lives, including driving. There are also surgical techniques available to treat seizures, depending on the location of the seizure focus in the brain. Other new techniques include devices which can potentially stop seizures.
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