Epilepsy is a neurological disorder. Abnormal electrical signals in the brain cause seizures to occur throughout the body. Seizure symptoms range from mild to severe. Depending on the type of seizure, symptoms may include:
- Temporary confusion, blank stares or loss of consciousness
- Jerking movements, muscle spasms or fluttering eyelids
- Rigid muscles
- Loss of muscle control
Epilepsy can be inherited or it can develop over time. The condition can result from a brain injury, illness or abnormal brain development. Having one seizure does not necessarily mean you have epilepsy. A high fever, severe head injury or lack of oxygen can cause a seizure.
Seizures fall into three groups:
Focal onset: When a seizure is focal onset, it begins on one side of your brain. Symptoms include jerking motions or muscle weakness.
General onset: These seizures affect both sides of your brain. The symptoms of general onset seizures include twitching muscles and staring spells.
Unknown onset: If a seizure is unknown onset, it may occur without anyone seeing it, such as when you're asleep. This term also describes seizures with no known starting point. Symptoms of unknown onset seizures include an inability to move or repetitive movements such as head nodding.