Epilepsy is a disorder that involves the nervous system. It is defined by the occurrence of two or more unprovoked seizures. Meaning there has not been an immediate cause such as a blood sugar imbalance or physical injury to the brain. It is also called a seizure disorder.
A seizure is caused by the temporary abnormal activity of brain cells. Thus, epilepsy is a condition of interruptions to the function of the brain. It is not a psychiatric or mental condition. It is not contagious.
Epilepsy can begin to affect anyone at any time in life. However, it occurs most frequently in the very young and the elderly. Epilepsy is more common than many people realize. Approximately 1 in 100 people have epilepsy. There are about 300,000 people in Canada living with the condition.