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Epilepsy is a common disorder of the brain that causes recurring seizures. It is sometimes called a seizure disorder.

A seizure is a short change in normal brain activity. Seizures are the main sign of epilepsy. A person is diagnosed with epilepsy when they have had two or more seizures.

There are many types of seizures. Some seizures can look like staring spells. Other seizures cause a person to fall, shake, and lose awareness of what’s going on around them.

A seizure can last from a few seconds to a few minutes.

Epilepsy is more common in children and older adults but can affect people of all ages.


Key Facts

  • Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes recurring seizures.
  • Epilepsy affects about 3.4 million Americans.
  • About 1 in 10 people will have a seizure at some point in their life, though not all will develop epilepsy.
  • There are many different kinds of epilepsy and types of seizures.
  • People with epilepsy can have an active and full life.
  • There are over 230 epilepsy centers in the United States. Health care providers at these centers specialize in managing epilepsy and provide expert care to both children and adults. For example, an “epileptologist” is a doctor who has advanced training and experience in epilepsy.


Prevention Tips

Sometimes we can prevent epilepsy. These are some of the most common ways to reduce your risk of developing epilepsy:

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