What is epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a type of seizure disorder that is generally caused by a congenital defect or begins in childhood. Sometimes, children who have epilepsy have an identifiable defect in the brain that can be visualized on a Brain MRI or a Brain CT scan. But, most of the time, it is not possible to identify or locate an anatomical defect on any brain-imaging test. Often, children with epilepsy have an area of abnormal electrical activity that can be identified with an electrical study of the brain called an electroencephalogram (EEG.) Sometimes, the EEG does not demonstrate a specific region of abnormal electrical activity in the brain because it may be hard to locate or because the abnormal activity involves the whole entire brain rather than just a small region.
What is the cause of epilepsy and seizure disorder?
A seizure disorder means that someone is prone to seizures, while epilepsy is a type of seizure disorder that is usually considered to be present from birth.
In general, a seizure disorder means that a person has a tendency to have seizures. The cause of a seizure disorder may be discovered to be a brain injury or disease or it may not be.
Epilepsy is a type of seizure disorder that is usually defined as a condition that is not caused by an illness, brain infection, or head trauma. Usually, epilepsy is believed to be congenital, meaning that it is caused by some type of developmental or genetic issue that was probably present prior to birth. Sometimes, epilepsy is a hereditary condition that runs in families. Usually, there is no identifiable cause of epilepsy, although most neurologists agree that congenital epilepsy is likely caused by microscopic damage to the brain.
The Epidemiology of Global Epilepsy. Singh A, Trevick S, Neurol Clin. 2016 Nov;34(4):837-847
Role of neuroimaging in first seizure diagnosis, Crocker CE, Pohlmann-Eden B, Schmidt MH, Seizure. 2016 Jun 1.