What is epilepsy?
We can all have a seizure and about 1 in 20 people will have a seizure in their life. However, in some people either the balance of inhibition and excitation is disturbed throughout the brain leading to the occurrence of repeated generalised seizures, or the balance is disturbed in one part of the brain leading to repeated focal seizures.
This disturbance may be caused by a variety of reasons, including:
- A person’s genes
- Damage to a part of the brain from birth
- A head injury, stroke or brain infection
- A part of the brain not developing properly, due to a brain tumour or certain drugs/alcohol.
Epilepsy is not uncommon. 1 in 30 people will develop epilepsy but, at any one time, less than 1 in 100 of the population has epilepsy because many people recover. About one third of people with epilepsy are not controlled with anti-epileptic drugs. For these people, other treatments are needed.