Epilepsy is a condition affecting the central nervous system – or a neurological disorder. This causes abnormal brain behavior, which includes the triggering of seizures, loss of consciousness, and unusual behavior.
This kind of behavior and symptom is essentially caused by the unusual activity of neurons. Neurons are brain cells, and these can either be ‘on or off’ depending on their electrical charge. When a neuron fires, this causes us to experience the sensation, memory, emotion, or motion that is associated with that neuron.
In a seizure, this activity is uncontrolled and affects a large part of the brain – leading to a sudden range of symptoms.
are two main categories of seizure. These are ‘generalized’ and ‘focal’. A focal seizure means that the activity occurs only in one part of the brain. This might then cause a sudden movement for instance. Meanwhile, though, a generalizedThere seizure causes massive activity across the entire connectome (the technical term for all the neurons).
This is the type of seizure that is the most dramatic to witness and also the most likely to cause a loss of consciousness.
Epilepsy can be a life-changing condition, depending on how it manifests and how common the seizures are. To learn if you or someone you know might be suffering from the condition, read on.
For some people, epileptic seizures are brought on by specific ‘triggers’. The most well known of these is bright flashing lights and strobe lighting effects. This is called ‘photosensitive epilepsy’ and it’s basically the result of the brain being particularly receptive to the ‘input’ that is light through the retinas. While this is the best-known form of epilepsy, it is actually only responsible for a relatively very small 3% of patients.
Other potential triggers include a lack of sleep, stress, even music! So again, while this isn’t always going to be a symptom, if your seizures are caused by triggers, then there is a good chance that this is what’s happening.