Epilepsy is the most common serious neurological condition in the world and occurs in patients in all walks of life.
Epilepsy is a condition that originates in the brain. The brain is a complex organ that is constructed of millions of nerve cells, known as neurons. It controls an extensive assortment of tasks, including consciousness, awareness and physical movement. The brain also sends and receives messages to and from the body, alerting the body of specific tasks to perform.
Sometimes, there may be an error when the brain sends or receives a message. In some cases, this type of error can cause a person to have a seizure. Many people will have a single seizure at some time in their lives, but this does not mean they have epilepsy. If a person has epilepsy, it means they have had more than one seizure beginning in the brain.
The causes of epilepsy can be put into three different categories, and each category includes various types of epilepsy, including:
- Symptomatic epilepsy is when there is a known cause for a person’s epilepsy, such as a head injury, infection of the brain (e.g., meningitis) or a stroke.
- Idiopathic epilepsy is when there is no clear cause for the seizures suddenly starting.
- Cryptogenic epilepsy is when a known cause for the onset of a person’s epilepsy cannot be proven, but a cause is suspected.
Because there is no obvious sign a person has epilepsy unless they are having a seizure, it can make diagnosing epilepsy difficult. A diagnosis is usually made after a person has had more than one epileptic seizure. A person who has had a seizure may not remember what happened, so it can be helpful to obtain information from someone who saw the seizure occur.
At Pediatrix Neurology and Epilepsy of Florida, we use high-end tools to provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan, including an electroencephalogram (EEG) and scans such as computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In addition, we examine all possible causes of seizures to help provide you with your healthiest life possible.
Please contact our office to schedule an appointment.