Epilepsy's Symptoms

Because epilepsy is caused by abnormal activity in the brain, seizures can affect any process your brain coordinates. Seizure signs and symptoms may include:

Symptoms vary depending on the type of seizure. In most cases, a person with epilepsy will tend to have the same type of seizure each time, so the symptoms will be similar from episode to episode.

Doctors generally classify seizures as either focal or generalized, based on how the abnormal brain activity begins.

Focal seizures:

When seizures appear to result from abnormal activity in just one area of your brain, they're called focal (partial) seizures. These seizures fall into two categories:

Symptoms of focal seizures may be confused with other neurological disorders, such as migraine, narcolepsy or mental illness. A thorough examination and testing are needed to distinguish epilepsy from other disorders.

Generalized seizures:

Seizures that appear to involve all areas of the brain are called generalized seizures. Six types of generalized seizures exist: