Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a chronic condition that causes recurring and unpredictable seizures. Seizures can be scary but most only last one minute and will stop on their own without medication. Sleepiness, drowsiness and confusion usually follow for a few minutes to a few hours.

Seizures are triggered by abnormal bursts of electrical activity in the brain. Most seizures appear as whole-body muscle stiffening with jerking and shaking, but there are other types as well. Some people are born with epilepsy, and others may develop it after a brain injury.

Our Mercy physicians are experts in diagnosing epilepsy and providing highly-specialized epilepsy treatment for adults and children.

How is epilepsy diagnosed?

Your doctor will examine you and ask you questions about what happened right before, during and after a seizure. It’s best to bring someone to the appointment who has witnessed your seizures because your doctor will likely have questions for them too.You may have some tests, such as an EEG, which is short for electroencephalogram. It’s a procedure that measures the electrical impulses in the brain.

How is epilepsy treated?

Most patients with epilepsy respond well to treatment with medications. However, it may take time for you and your doctor to find the right combination, schedule and dosage of medicines to manage your epilepsy.

If seizures continue even while taking medication, other treatments, such as special diets and surgery, may be added. Mercy can also help educate family and friends about what to do during a seizure in order to keep you safe and healthy.

While there is no cure for epilepsy, we’ll work closely with you to find the best treatment to manage symptoms and improve your quality of life. Our leading physicians collaborate with specialists from across the Mercy network to provide you coordinated and comprehensive care. 

Seizure First Aid

Learn five things to do when you see someone having a seizure.

Eating for Epilepsy

9 things to know before kick starting a keto diet.

Resources

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