Epilepsy

WHAT IS EPILEPSY?

Epilepsy, or seizures, refers to an electrical discharge in the brain which results in disturbance of movement, sensation, speech, behaviour or consciousness.

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Common causes of epilepsy include:

  • Brain tumours
  • Hippocampal sclerosis
  • Developmental abnormalities of the brain (for example, cortical dysplasia)
  • Fever (in children)
  • Brain trauma

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of epilepsy is best made by an expert neurologist. An EEG, MRI and other diagnostic tests are performed.

Treatment

Treatment of epilepsy almost always includes anticonvulsant (anti-seizure) medications. In some cases, surgery is required. This is best done by a neurosurgeon with experience in epilepsy surgery.

The surgical treatment of epilepsy generally involves the removal of the lesion (for example tumour) or portion of the brain generating the seizures.