A neurological disorder marked by sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance, loss of consciousness, or convulsions, associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain.


There are three major groups of seizures:


Risk Factors

Epilepsy may have no identifiable cause, or may be traced to various factors:

  • Brain conditions (tumors, strokes)
  • Developmental disorders (autism, neurofibromatosis)
  • Genetics
  • History of head trauma
  • Infectious disease (meningitis, AIDS, encephalitis)
  • Perinatal (before birth) injury


While epilepsy cannot be prevented, in most cases, seizures associated with the condition can be prevented by modifying or avoiding triggers.

  • Avoid bright, flashing lights and other visual stimuli.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol
  • Decrease screen time (TV, computer, video games)
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Manage stress
  • Sleep: get enough, and stick to a schedule
  • Take all medications as prescribed


People with a chronic disease are at higher risk for serious problems from certain diseases. Getting vaccinated is an important step in staying healthy.

The CDC recommends all adults receive:

  • Influenza – recommended every year, age 6 months and older
  • Tdap – (if an adult did not receive it as an adolescent to protect against pertussis (whooping cough), and then a Td (tetanus, diphtheria) booster shot every 10 years.

Talk to your doctor about which other vaccines are right for you.

COVID-19 and Epilepsy

Available data suggests that having epilepsy does not increase the risk of getting COVID-19 or increase the severity of the disease.


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