Epilepsy is a condition which affects the brain. The temporal, occipital or frontal brain lobes are the commonly affected areas. This leads to different type of seizure because these lobes do different functions in the brain.

The cells in our brain, known as neurons, communicate with each other by using electrical impulses. During a seizure or fit, these electrical impulses are disrupted, and this can cause the brain and the body to behave strangely.

The common causes of epilepsy include:

• A genetic condition
• Problems during birth
• Brain damage from a stroke or a head injury
• An infection of the brain, for example meningitis
• Inherited condition
• Brain damage from alcohol or other drugs of abuse
• Brain damage from toxic substances

People with epilepsy can experience any of the varieties of seizures, although most people follow a consistent pattern of symptoms. This pattern is known as an epilepsy syndrome.

The common epilepsy symptoms include:

• Repeated seizures
• Partial seizures – both simple and complex partial seizures
• Generalised seizures
• Atonic seizures
• Tonic – clonic seizures
• Absence seizures
• Nocturnal seizures
• Myoclonic seizures

There are more than 40 types of epilepsy and seizure. All have different symptoms.

EEG, MRI and CT scans are the methods used by the doctors for the diagnosis of epilepsy.

There are many drugs, antiepileptic drugs which could stop fits. It can be a single drug therapy or multydrugs therapy.
Surgery is another option but the doctors have to decide this if medicines are not helping.

What to do if someone has a seizure? In most cases medical help is not needed, but if the fits last longer than five minutes medical help is needed. If it is the first fits then also medical help is needed.

If you are with someone who is having fits (tonic-clonic seizure) you should do:

• Move the person away from the things which could cause him injury
• Loosen the clothing around the neck
• Cushion his head
• After the fits stop turn him so that he is lying on the side
• The time of the fits must be noted

Do not put anything in their mouth, the tongue bites are normally not serious and will heal within few days.