About Careers MedBlog Contact us


Last Updated on Sep 25, 2020
Font : A-A+


Epilepsy is characterized by recurrent, involuntary seizures and is described as a chronic neurological disorder.


The term epilepsy (pronounced as eh-puh-lep-see) originates from a Greek word 'epilepsia' meaning 'falling sickness' It is an illness that affects the brain, causing repeated seizures or 'fits' in the patient which make them to fall.

The original description of the condition by Galen in 130-200 reads as follows -

Certainly epilepsy is a convulsion of all parts of the body, not continuous astetanus, but occurring at intervals. Epilepsy is not only different in this manner from spasm but also because the intellect and sensory perception are damaged. From this it becomes evident that the origin of this ailment resides somewhere high up in the brain.

It is estimated that epilepsy affects almost 2.5 million Americans. Witnessing an epileptic seizure for the first time can be quite a frightening experience. However do not panic; if you wish to help the victim there are two things that you can do that could save their life:

  • First ensure that the person does not fall on objects that are likely to hurt them.
  • The next thing to do is to make sure that their airways are not blocked due to the secretions or a vomitus and for this it is best to turn them sideways with a slight head down position.

Seizures or fits in young children are called Febrile Convulsions. Usually this occurs after the child runs a high temperature. This does not cause brain damage or lead to epileptic attack when they grow up. This usually stops when the child completes 6 years. It is important not to panic when a child experiences Febrile Convulsions. Immediate medical help must be sought.


An EEG (Electro-encephalogram) an electrical tracing of the brain can be done to confirm epilepsy.

Long term treatment with medication is required to control epileptic fits. Usually these fits can be controlled with medication but may not be cured. Implants or surgery may be tried in for refractory cases where tablets do not work.

What is New in Epilepsy?

1. New Targets for Epilepsy Treatment can be Identified

New analysis can identify genes that cause infantile spasms, which could help develop new targets for treatment, reveals a new study. In a new approach to precision medicine research, scientists used bioinformatic tools to identify common features of genes associated with infantile spasms compared to other forms of early life epilepsy.

2. People With Epilepsy are at Increased Risk of Dying

In England and Wales, people with epilepsy were found to be at an increased risk of dying, especially from suicide and accidents, reveals a new study. People with epilepsy are three times more likely to die from an unnatural cause than those without epilepsy.

  1. Famous people who suffered from epilepsy - (http://www.epilepsiemuseum.de/alt/body_prominenteen.html)

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Dr. Reeja Tharu. (2020, September 25). Fits | Epilepsy | Convulsions - Causes Symptoms Diagnosis Treatment FAQs. Medindia. Retrieved on Dec 05, 2022 from https://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/epilepsy.htm.

  • MLA

    Dr. Reeja Tharu. "Fits | Epilepsy | Convulsions - Causes Symptoms Diagnosis Treatment FAQs". Medindia. Dec 05, 2022. <https://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/epilepsy.htm>.

  • Chicago

    Dr. Reeja Tharu. "Fits | Epilepsy | Convulsions - Causes Symptoms Diagnosis Treatment FAQs". Medindia. https://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/epilepsy.htm. (accessed Dec 05, 2022).

  • Harvard

    Dr. Reeja Tharu. 2021. Fits | Epilepsy | Convulsions - Causes Symptoms Diagnosis Treatment FAQs. Medindia, viewed Dec 05, 2022, https://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/epilepsy.htm.

Latest Publications and Research on Epilepsy

Do you wish to consult a Neurologist for your problem? Ask your question

Dr. Siddharth Kharkar
Dr. Siddharth Kharkar
MBBS, MD, MHS, Fellowship In Epilepsy
22 years experience
Dr. Shakya Bhattacharjee
Dr. Shakya Bhattacharjee
MBBS, MD, MRCP, MRCP Neurology, CCT Neurology
15 years experience
View All

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.



My son Michael Mirai was born with a rare type of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome, also known as Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy [SMEI]. This is a rare and catastrophic form of intractable epilepsy that begins in infancy. Individuals with SMEI suffer from intellectual disabilities as well as severe behavioral and development delays. All effort made to be sure he did not live his life miserably with deadly disease proof abortive. I have carried him to different Doctors, use different prescription drug all to no avail.
Dr. Lawson!!! (with tears of joy) I will forever be indebted to you. Your medicine worked perfectly well and now my son is cured of Epilepsy completely. Continue your good job......


Planning to marry a girl, I have not even engaged with her as of now but i got to know she have fits. Her age is 23, she got fits at age of 14 and 18 for few min only and using medicines continuously. In last six years no problem with fits and still continously using medicine. SO please guide me, we can overcome this problem? after marriage If I will marry then in future, kids also affectng the same? Please suggest. Thanx, shabs


my 3.5 yrs son suffering fits for last one month. he gets unconcious for 5 -10 minutes, so we consult neurologist and done many tests like EEG, CT and MRI and all are normal hE is still and Dr. suggested us to use valprine 200mg syrup 5 ml daily we are using since last 10 days and again yesterday he got the same problem.how long will the treatment go and will he will be able to lead a healthy life in future.please suggest me.


My father in law, he is 78 years he is epilepsy patient but from past 40 years he is normal, that to without tablets but in jan 31 he started vomiting we admitied him in hospital; they did MRI brain. There r 3 small clots but not treatable after 10 days he felt in a bathroom he told it was because of fit, again we consult dr. EEG done. They started medicine for fits 16 tab per day he is becoming dull day by day he was not able to walk or stand we were worried, as he is a dr he was not satisfied with his dr we change the dr. she stopped all tab and started levetiracetam ,then he was fine only incoherent talk was there doctor said that he is fiting inside the brain after two month he became violent he use to beat, shout , again we admit him he went in coma. after 20 days dr. told take him home and give him care and hop for best but after 1 and 1/2 month he came out from coma and start talking, eating no one believe not even dr. that he recover very well but again after 1 and 1/2 month he started becoming dull and on 7/9/2013 he had fit he bite his toung then again he was hospitalized he is in MICU in coma for12 days in room for8 days now after one month recovering ....what shill I do more for him, please help


My daughter aged 13 years just suffered from fits for the first time. She attained age and the illness occurred on the 7th day morning of her second month's menstruation. She was partially unconscious for about 20 minutes followed with heavy vomiting several times. Doctor advised for several tests including ct scan. is it occurred due to some hormone changes in body, loss of blood ect? is it curable?

View More Comments
Recommended Reading
Health Topics A - Z

    What's New on Medindia
    World Disability Day 2022 - The Role of Innovative Transformation
    Diet and Oral Health: The Sugary Connection May Become Sour
    World AIDS Day 2022 - Equalize!
    View all

    Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

    Most Popular on Medindia

    Indian Medical Journals How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips Color Blindness Calculator Drug - Food Interactions Selfie Addiction Calculator Vent Forte (Theophylline) Find a Doctor Turmeric Powder - Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects Drug Interaction Checker Post-Nasal Drip
    This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close