Epilepsy is a condition that affects the brain and causes repeated seizures, which were sometimes previously referred to as “fits”. Epilepsy is estimated to affect more than 500,000 people in the UK. This means that almost one in every 100 people has the condition.
Epilepsy is a common illness in any country. About one in two hundred persons, in any community, has epilepsy. Epilepsy affects both men and women equally. Epilepsy does not respect any cast or religion or spares rich or poor. Epilepsy can start at any age. Epilepsy is not a contagious disease and does not spread from one to another through intimate contact. Epilepsy is not the result of curse or sins of the past. The episodes are not possessions by evil spirits. Men and women with epilepsy can lead happy married life and have healthy children.
The cells in the brain, known as neurons, conduct electrical signals and communicate with each other in the brain using chemical messengers. During a seizure, there are abnormal bursts of neurons firing off electrical impulses, which can cause the brain and body to behave strangely.
The severity of seizures can differ from person to person. Some people simply experience an odd feeling with no loss of awareness, or may have a “trance-like” state for a few seconds or minutes, while others lose consciousness and have convulsions (uncontrollable shaking of the body). Some people may only have a single seizure at some point during their life. If they do not have a high risk of having further seizures, they would not be regarded as having epilepsy.