Epilepsy 101

What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a neurological condition that affects the nervous system. Epilepsy is also known as a seizure disorder. It is usually diagnosed after a person has had at least two seizures (or after one seizure with a high risk for more) that were not caused by some known medical condition.

Learn More

Download the New to Seizures & Epilepsy Toolkit

If you’re new to seizures and epilepsy, this toolkit provides information, resources, factsheets, and more. 

Hearing about seizures and epilepsy for the first time can be frightening and confusing. For someone recently diagnosed, a caregiver, or a loved one, the New to Seizures and Epilepsy Toolkit is a great resource and starting point. This toolkit provides information on what epilepsy is, what resources are available, how to make the most out of doctor visits, and more. 

Download the toolkit in English or Spanish: 

New to Seizures and Epilepsy Toolkit - English New to Seizures and Epilepsy Toolkit - Spanish

470,000 children in the United States have epilepsy. You and your child do not have to face epilepsy alone. This toolkit outlines the steps you can take to ensure that your child is getting the care they need. 

Newly Diagnosed Children and Youth Toolkit - English

General Information about Epilepsy

What are seizures?

A seizure happens when the electrical system of the brain malfunctions. Instead of discharging electrical energy in a controlled manner, the brain cells keep firing. There are many different types of seizures. People may experience just one type or more than one. The kind of seizure a person has depends on which part and how much of the brain is affected by the electrical disturbance that produces seizures. Seizures can be classified into two main categories.

Generalized Seizures

These seizures affect both sides of the brain or groups of cells on both sides of the brain at the same time and includes seizure types like tonic-clonic, absence, or atonic to name a few.

Focal Seizures

Focal seizures can start in one area or group of cells in one side of the brain. When a person is awake and aware during a seizure, it is called a focal aware seizure. When a person is confused or their awareness is affected in some way during a focal seizure, it is called a focal impaired awareness seizure.

Help & Treatment

How to help someone experiencing a seizure:

  1. STAY with the person and start timing the seizure. Remain calm and check for medical ID.
  2. Keep the person SAFE by moving away from harmful objects.
  3. Turn the person on their SIDE if they are not awake and aware. Do not block airway or restrain. Put something small and soft under their head.


Click Here to Download Our Seizure First Aid Trainings Brochure

Click Here to Find Upcoming Seizure First Aid Trainings

How is epilepsy treated?

Epilepsy is diagnosed and treated by a neurologist or a specialist called an epileptologist. While seizure medicines are the mainstay of epilepsy treatment, there are other approaches a doctor may choose to recommend, including:

Click Here to Learn More About Difficult to Treat Seizures

Click Here to Learn More About Developmental and Epileptic Encephalopathy (DEE)

Click Here to Learn About Wellness and Epilepsy