Epilepsy, a condition in which people have recurring seizures, which are created when the brain is overwhelmed by rapid and random firing neurons, is a neurological disorder affecting 50 million people around the world [source: Baruchin]. Medications are available to control, but not cure, epilepsy. People who have the condition can find that discovering the best medication can be a trial-and-error process. The best antiseizure medicine will limit seizures while also minimizing side effects. There is some evidence that diet can play a part in helping epilepsy, particularly in children. Knowing what might trigger a seizure can help people organize their lives in such a way that they can try to avoid having seizures. Some people with epilepsy may consider brain surgery as an effective option.
Having a seizure doesn't necessarily mean that you have epilepsy and need to try such drastic treatment as surgery. There are other causes of seizures that may resemble epileptic attacks. A seizure can be caused by withdrawal from drugs or alcohol, a panic attack or very low blood sugar levels in someone who has diabetes. Sometimes a child with a very high temperature may have a seizure. To determine if a person has epilepsy, a doctor will try to induce a seizure in a patient and then measure his or her brain activity. A patient also might receive a brain scan. These tests help doctors to determine whether a patient actually has epilepsy and then decide on the best treatment options.
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