Epilepsy is a neurological condition involving the brain that makes people more susceptible to having recurrent seizures. It is one of the most common disorders of the nervous system and affects people of all ages, races, and ethnic background. Almost 2.2 million Americans live with epilepsy.
Anything that interrupts the normal connections between nerve cells in the brain can cause a seizure. This includes a high fever, low blood sugar, high blood sugar, alcohol or drug withdrawal, or a brain concussion. Under these circumstances, anyone can have one or more seizures. However, when a person has two or more seizures, he or she is considered to have epilepsy. There are many possible causes of epilepsy, including an imbalance of nerve-signaling chemicals called neurotransmitters, tumors, strokes, and brain damage from illness or injury, or some combination of these. In the majority of cases, there may be no cause that can be discovered for epilepsy.