Epilepsy, or "seizure disorder," is a chronic neurological disorder marked by sudden and unpredictable seizures. Seizures happen when there is an unusual pattern of electrical signals in the brain, causing a disturbance.
The most common type of seizure (60%) is convulsive, and the remaining 40% is non-convulsive. Within these definitions, there are many different kinds of epileptic seizures, making it a varied condition with a wide spectrum.
When a person experiences epileptic seizures, they can be diagnosed with one of these three kinds: idiopathic, which means that there is no apparent cause; cryptogenic, which means there is probably a cause, but the doctor cannot identify it; and symptomatic, which means that the doctor knows what the cause is.
In 70% of the cases, seizures can be managed with medication. When antiepileptic drugs do not work, the next option is surgery, a special diet, or vagus nerve stimulation (VNS).