In this Article
- Epilepsy Facts*
- What is epilepsy?
- What causes epilepsy?
- What are the different kinds of seizures?
- Focal seizures
- Generalized seizures
- What are the different kinds of epilepsy?
- When are seizures not epilepsy?
- First seizures
- Febrile seizures
- Nonepileptic events
- How is epilepsy diagnosed?
- Can epilepsy be prevented?
- How can epilepsy be treated?
- How does epilepsy affect daily life?
- Are there special risks associated with epilepsy?
- What research is being done on epilepsy?
- How can I help research on epilepsy?
- What to do if you see someone having a seizure
- Where can I get more information?
- Epilepsy and Seizures FAQs
- Find a local Neurologist in your town
Many people with epilepsy lead productive and outwardly normal lives. Medical and research advances in the past two decades have led to a better understanding of epilepsy and seizures than ever before. Advanced brain scans and other techniques allow greater accuracy in diagnosing epilepsy and determining when a patient may be helped by surgery. More than 20 different medications and a variety of surgical techniques are now available and provide good control of seizures for most people with epilepsy. Other treatment options include the ketogenic diet and the first implantable device, the vagus nerve stimulator. Research on the underlying causes of epilepsy, including identification of genes for some forms of epilepsy and febrile seizures, has led to a greatly improved understanding of epilepsy that may lead to more effective treatments or even new ways of preventing epilepsy in the future.
Where can I get more information?
For more information on neurological disorders or research programs funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, contact the Institute's Brain Resources and Information Network (BRAIN) at:
P.O. Box 5801
Bethesda, MD 20824
Information also is available from the following organizations:
Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE)
730 N. Franklin
Chicago, IL 60610
Non-profit grassroots organization formed by parents and families to raise funds for epilepsy research.
8301 Professional Place
Landover, MD 20785-7223
Tel: 301-459-3700 800-EFA-1000 (332-1000)
National charitable organization dedicated to the welfare of people with epilepsy. Works for children and adults affected by seizures through education, advocacy, services, and research towards a cure. Offers a Legal Defense Program through a fund.
257 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10010
Non-profit organization that provides comprehensive social services and resources for people with epilepsy and their families.
Parents Against Childhood Epilepsy (PACE)
7 East 85th Street
New York, NY 10028
Tel: 212-665-PACE (7223)
Non-profit research resource that provides information and support to families of children with epilepsy.
Family Caregiver Alliance/ National Center on Caregiving
180 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94104
Tel: 415-434-3388 800-445-8106
Supports and assists families and caregivers of adults with debilitating health conditions. Offers programs and consultation on caregiving issues at local, state, and national levels. Offers free publications and support online, including a national directory of publicly funded caregiver support programs.
National Council on Patient Information and Education
4915 St. Elmo Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814-6082
Coalition of nearly 150 organizations committed to safer, more effective medicine use through better communication. Additional website is www.bemedwise.org.
National Family Caregivers Association
10400 Connecticut Avenue
Kensington, MD 20895-3944
Tel: 301-942-6430 800-896-3650
Grassroots organization dedicated to supporting and improving the lives of America's family caregivers. Created to educate, support, empower, and advocate for the millions of Americans who care for their ill, aged, or disabled loved ones.
National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
P.O. Box 1968
(55 Kenosia Avenue)
Danbury, CT 06813-1968
Tel: 203-744-0100 Voice Mail 800-999-NORD (6673)
Federation of voluntary health organizations dedicated to helping people with rare "orphan" diseases and assisting the organizations that serve them. Committed to the identification, treatment, and cure of rare disorders through programs of education, advocacy, research, and service.
International RadioSurgery Association
3002 N. Second Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Proactive patient organization providing information and referrals on Gamma Knife, Linac, and particle beam radiosurgery for brain tumors, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), and neurological pain and movement disorders.
Charlie Foundation to Help Cure Pediatric Epilepsy
1223 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Tel: 800-FOR-KETO (367-5386) 310-395-6751
Non-profit organization that raises money for scientific research focusing on the ketogenic diet. Offers education programs and materials for families and dieticians.
Epilepsy Therapy Development Project
11921 Freedom Drive
Reston, VA 20190
Nonprofit corporation that works to advance new treatments for people living with epilepsy. Supports innovative research in academia and industry. Provides information through the www.epilepsy.com website.
Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry
MGH East, CNY-149, 10th Floor
149 13th Street
Charlestown, MA 02129-2000
Tel: 888-AED-AED4 (233-2334)
Registry designed to determine what therapies are associated with increased risk of harmful fetal effects. Participation is confidential.
Medically reviewed by Jon Glass, MD; American board of Psychiatry and Neurology
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institutes of Health. Last update: 3/10/2011
Viewers share their comments
Find tips and treatments to control seizures.