Epilepsy

Epilepsy refers to a condition in which a person experiences seizures caused by so-called "unprovoked reasons." Learn how the care team at Lehigh Valley Health Network's Neuroscience Center can help you manage epilepsy.

About 10 percent of people have at least one seizure at some point in their lives. Anything that disrupts the normal electrical activity in the brain can cause a seizure. Frequent causes: high fever, low blood sugar, high blood sugar, alcohol or drug withdrawal, or a brain structural abnormality.

Epilepsy implies that the person is at risk to have unprovoked seizures. Epilepsy is a neurological condition that affects up to 1 percent of the population. 

Epilepsy has many possible causes including brain tumor, stroke, brain damage from illness or injury, or some combination of these. In a large group of patients, there is no detectable cause. 

Epilepsy Symptoms

A person is considered to have epilepsy after:

  • Two or more unprovoked seizures
  • A single seizure accompanied by other findings that suggest to the neurologist there is at least a 60 percent chance of another unprovoked seizure

Diagnosing Epilepsy

Your neurologist will evaluate the likelihood of another seizure through a few different tests. The most common is the Electroencephalogram (EEG), which records your brain’s electrical activity.

If you are experiencing seizures that are difficult to diagnose or control our epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU) provides continuous care to determine precise cause of seizures and the most effective treatment.