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Epilepsy 

Epilepsy
Chapter:
Epilepsy
Author(s):

Leslie L. Iversen

, Susan D. Iversen

, Floyd E. Bloom

, and Robert H. Roth

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780195380538.003.0514
Page of

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date: 29 May 2020

Epilepsy is one of the most common of the serious neurological disorders. The prevalence of active epilepsy is approximately 5–10 per 1000 people. Seizure types are organized first according to whether the source of the seizure within the brain is localized (partial or focal onset seizures) or distributed (generalized seizures). Partial seizures are further divided based on the extent to which consciousness is affected. If it is unaffected, then it is a simple partial seizure; otherwise, it is a complex partial (psychomotor) seizure. Generalized seizures are divided according to the effect on the body, but all involve loss of consciousness. These include absence (petit mal), myoclonic, clonic, tonic, tonic– clonic (grand mal), and atonic seizures. There are many different epilepsy syndromes, each presenting with its own unique combination of seizure type, typical age of onset, EEG findings, treatment, and prognosis. A number of syndromes affect children, including infantile spasms (West syndrome), childhood absence epilepsy, benign focal epilepsies of childhood, and juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. The most common epilepsy of adults is temporal lobe epilepsy.

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