Epilepsy is a disorder that causes abnormal electrical activity in the brain. This electrical activity can lead to seizures.
Following are some causes of epilepsy:
- Head injury
- Brain tumor
- Low oxygen during birth
- Genetic conditions that result in brain injury
In many affected people, the exact cause of epilepsy cannot be determined. However, identifying and avoiding triggers for seizures can help people with epilepsy achieve a better quality of life.
Patients should see an epilepsy expert if:
- Seizures interfere with work or hobbies
- Multiple medications are needed to control symptoms
- Current treatments do not control seizures
- The type and/or severity of seizures changes
- Seizures occur for the first time
Seizures related to epilepsy can vary in frequency, severity and symptoms. There are two types: partial and generalized.
Partial seizures affect a part of the brain and can cause loss of consciousness. Patients may have jerky movements, fear, twitching, hallucinations or nausea. People having partial seizures may seem confused or unaware. They may wander off or act strangely.
Generalized seizures affect the whole brain. Patients may have odd sensations before a generalized seizure. Some may stare into space, while others may lose consciousness and start convulsing.
Novant Health provides epilepsy care for children and adults. If you think you or a loved one has epilepsy, the team at the Novant Health Neuroscience Institute Epilepsy Center can work with you and your family to find a cause and design a treatment plan.
Our epilepsy center has leading-edge tools and services, such as:
- One of the area’s only epilepsy monitoring units (EMU)
- EEGs and ambulatory EEGs
- Vagal nerve stimulator (VNS) programming
- Clinical research trials
- Medication therapy
Once the site and cause of the seizures are known, our team can develop a treatment plan. Options include medication, brain surgery or a device placed in the chest to lower the number of seizures.
To make an appointment with a neurologist for you or a loved one, call 704-384-CARE (2273).