Health Advice



Consumer Health: Epilepsy in children

Laurel Kelly, Mayo Clinic News Network on

Published in Health & Fitness

Epilepsy, also known as seizure disorder, is common, and there are many types. About 1 in 26 people in the U.S. will develop the disease in their lifetime. It affects people of all races, ethnic backgrounds and ages. Anyone can develop epilepsy.

Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes recurring seizures. Having a single seizure doesn't mean you have epilepsy. Epilepsy is diagnosed if you've had at least two unprovoked seizures at least 24 hours apart. Unprovoked seizures don't have a clear cause.


Seizure symptoms vary depending on the type of seizure. Because epilepsy is caused by activity in the brain, seizures can affect any brain process.

Seizure symptoms may include:

•Temporary confusion.


•A staring spell.

•Stiff muscles.

•Uncontrollable jerking movements of the arms and legs.

•Loss of consciousness or awareness.


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