Epilepsy is a condition in which disrupted brain activity leads to seizures. A child is diagnosed with epilepsy after two or more unprovoked seizures, or seizures that aren’t caused by something specific. A child who has only provoked seizures (for example, febrile seizures) won’t typically have a diagnosis of epilepsy.
Intervention and appropriate treatment can help ease epilepsy symptoms and seizures. Explore epilepsy diagnosis and treatment options.
In the brain, constant electrical activity takes place in and between cells. A seizure is an abnormal electrical discharge in brain cells that disrupts normal activity, behavior or movement.
Seizures can be mild, severe, or somewhere in between. How epilepsy affects a child can vary widely depending on the severity. Co-existing conditions (such as cerebral palsy) can play a role in how seizures affect a child as well. Clues that a child is having a seizure include:
Because epilepsy can have many causes, a neurologist runs tests to help determine if and why your child has epilepsy.
Some of the known causes of epilepsy in children include:
Even eight years later, George Jamison clearly remembers the moment. He was with his older brother, Jack, at summer camp, having the type of fun that only 8 and 10-year-olds can. Then everything went black. When he awoke, a lot had changed.