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The Difference Between Epilepsy & Seizures

What Is Epilepsy?

There are many types of seizures that a person can experience. Some are caused by physiological changes such as low blood sugar or drug abuse. Others are caused by genetic conditions or severe injury. Those who have seizures on a daily basis suffer from a condition called epilepsy, which occurs when their brain almost constantly exhibits unusual activity.

Epilepsy is a neurological condition that causes neurons in the brain to send signals at random intervals. These sudden spikes in brain activity can result in a dangerous loss of control in which the person could hurt themselves. While grand mal seizures are the ones most people think of when the word comes to mind, there are many different kinds. It is also important to recognize that epileptics are not the only people at risk of seizure.

Other Kinds of Epileptic Seizures

Absence seizures, for example, occur randomly and cause the person to stare off into space for a brief period until suddenly they return to consciousness. For some epileptics, absence seizures can occur dozens of times each day, causing them to completely detach even during activities that require focus. For this reason, epileptics cannot obtain driver’s licenses until they have proven to be seizure free for years.

Partial onset seizures are another type of irregular spike in brain activity that can result in loss of consciousness. Like absence seizures, partial onset seizures create can look like nothing unusual is happening. The person may twitch or look a little strange for a moment, but the sudden return of consciousness can make these seem insignificant.

Non-Epileptic Seizures

The common thread in epileptic seizures is the abnormal brain activity. People who are not epileptic can suffer seizures where brain activity remains normal. This can make it harder to detect, considering that electroencephalograms (EEGs) cannot detect any unusual behavior. In cases like these, the best treatment options involve working with a psychotherapist to understand triggers and avoid them in the future. Other management methods could be better dieting, abstinence from drugs and alcohol, and paying close attention to what could have caused the seizure.

Amor Mehta MD – Neurology Center for Epilepsy & Seizures, LLC offers advanced treatment options for those suffering from epilepsy and other related neurological conditions. If you have questions about your situation, contact us today.