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What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a common condition that affects the brain and causes frequent seizures. It can start at any age but is more common to start in children and those over 60.


Seizures can affect people in different ways, depending on which part of the brain is involved.

  • a fit - uncontrollable jerking and shaking

  • losing awareness and staring blankly into space

  • becoming stiff

  • strange sensations - such as a "rising" feeling in the tummy, unusual smells or tastes, and a tingling feeling in your arms or legs

  • collapsing

When to get help

  • If the person has had a seizure for the first time ( a seizure can have several causes and can be a one-off)

  • if the seizure lasts for more than 5 minutes

  • lots of seizures in a row

  • If they have breathing difficulties or seriously injured themselves

Living with Epilepsy

Epilepsy is usually a lifelong condition, but most people with it are able to have normal lives if their seizures are well controlled. Most children with epilepsy are able to go to a mainstream school, take part in most activities and sports, and get a job when they're older. You may have to think about your epilepsy before you do things such driving, certain jobs, swimming, using contraception and planning a pregnancy


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