Epilepsy is a disorder in which a person has two or more unprovoked seizures. Unprovoked means that the seizures are not brought on by a clear cause such as alcohol withdrawal, heart problems, or extremely low blood sugar. In other words, epilepsy is a condition of recurrent, unprovoked seizures. The seizures may result from a hereditary tendency or a brain injury, but often the cause is unknown. Many use the term “seizure disorder” instead because “epilepsy” seems more serious or stigmatized. However, almost all seizure disorders are epilepsy.
A person with epilepsy has had two or more unprovoked seizures, regardless of seizure type. There are many types of epilepsy, depending on age of onset, seizure type(s), EEG findings, family history, and neurological history, among other factors.