CenTrial Logo

About Epilepsy


Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures, which are sudden bursts of electrical activity in the brain. These seizures can manifest in various ways, from temporary confusion or loss of awareness to convulsions and uncontrollable movements.

Understanding epilepsy helps individuals affected by the condition and their caregivers to recognize and manage seizures effectively. It promotes awareness and reduces the stigma surrounding epilepsy, fostering a more supportive environment for those living with the condition. Understanding epilepsy is essential for advancing medical research and developing better treatments to improve the quality of life for individuals with epilepsy.

Clinical trials are vital in developing epilepsy research by testing new treatments, medications, and therapies aimed at controlling seizures and improving the overall quality of life for individuals with epilepsy. The trials are conducted under strict guidelines and aim to determine the safety and effectiveness of new interventions before they are made widely available to the public.

CenTrial.org is dedicated to connecting people who have epilepsy to clinical trials appropriate to their needs. Through its matching service, CenTrial streamlines the process of finding and participating in clinical trials, thereby contributing to advancing epilepsy research and the development of new treatments.

  About Epilepsy

Symptoms And Types of Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures, which are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. These seizures can vary widely in severity and may involve loss of consciousness, convulsions, unusual sensations, or uncontrollable movements.

Focal Epilepsy

Focal epilepsy, also known as partial epilepsy, occurs when seizures originate in a specific area of the brain. Symptoms of focal epilepsy can vary depending on the part of the brain affected but may include sensory changes, involuntary movements, or altered consciousness. Treatment for focal epilepsy often involves medications to control seizures or surgery to remove the affected brain tissue.

Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

Temporal lobe epilepsy is a type of focal epilepsy characterized by seizures originating in the temporal lobes of the brain. Symptoms may include altered consciousness, deja vu sensations, or automatic movements like lip smacking or fidgeting. Treatment for temporal lobe epilepsy typically involves antiepileptic medications, but surgery may be considered in cases where medications are ineffective.

Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy

Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy is a type of generalized epilepsy that usually begins in adolescence. It is characterized by sudden, brief muscle jerks, known as myoclonic seizures, particularly upon waking in the morning. Other types of seizures, such as tonic-clonic seizures, may also occur. Treatment for juvenile myoclonic epilepsy often involves lifelong medication management to control seizures and prevent recurrence.

Absence Epilepsy

Absence seizures, also known as petit mal seizures, are characterized by brief episodes of staring or blanking out. These seizures typically last for a few seconds and may occur multiple times a day.

Generalized Tonic-Clonic (Grand Mal) Epilepsy

Generalized tonic-clonic seizures involve a loss of consciousness and convulsions. They often begin with a sudden loss of consciousness followed by stiffening of the body (tonic phase) and then rhythmic jerking of the limbs (clonic phase).

Myoclonic Epilepsy

Myoclonic seizures involve sudden, brief jerks or twitches of the arms and legs. These seizures can occur in isolation or as part of other epilepsy syndromes, such as juvenile myoclonic epilepsy.

Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome

This severe form of epilepsy typically begins in childhood and is characterized by multiple seizure types, intellectual disability, and abnormal EEG patterns.

Dravet Syndrome 

Dravet syndrome is a rare and severe form of epilepsy that begins in infancy. It is characterized by frequent seizures, developmental delays, and cognitive impairment.
Understanding the different types of epilepsy and their associated symptoms is essential for accurate diagnosis and effective management of the condition.

Causes and Risk Factors of Epilepsy


Genetic Factors

Genetics can play a significant role in the development of epilepsy. Certain genetic mutations or variations can increase the likelihood of experiencing seizures. Individuals with a family history of epilepsy are at higher risk of developing the condition themselves.

Brain Injury or Trauma

Brain injuries resulting from accidents, head trauma, or other medical conditions can increase the risk of epilepsy. These injuries can disrupt the normal functioning of the brain and lead to the development of seizures.


Certain infections, such as meningitis, encephalitis, and brain abscesses, can damage the brain and increase the risk of epilepsy. Infections that cause inflammation in the brain can trigger seizures and other neurological symptoms.

Developmental Disorders

Developmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder and neurofibromatosis, are associated with an increased risk of epilepsy. These disorders can affect brain development and function, making individuals more susceptible to seizures.

Diagnosis of Epilepsy

Medical History

A thorough medical history is essential for diagnosing epilepsy. Healthcare providers will ask about the individual's symptoms, family history, past medical conditions, and any medications they may be taking.

Physical Examination

A physical examination may help healthcare providersoffice@heidehof.com identify any physical signs or neurological abnormalities that could indicate epilepsy or underlying brain conditions.

Neurological Tests

Neurological tests, such as reflex testing, coordination assessments, and sensory examinations, may be conducted to evaluate brain function and detect any abnormalities that could be associated with epilepsy.

EEG and Imaging Tests

Electroencephalogram (EEG) and imaging tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans, are essential for diagnosing epilepsy. EEG measures electrical activity in the brain and can help identify abnormal patterns associated with seizures. Imaging tests provide detailed brain images and can help identify structural abnormalities or lesions that may be causing seizures. These tests are crucial for confirming a diagnosis of epilepsy and determining the underlying cause.

Treatment of Epilepsy

Medications for Epilepsy

Medications are often the first line of treatment for epilepsy and can help control seizures in many individuals. Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) work by stabilizing electrical activity in the brain and reducing the frequency and severity of seizures. There are many different medications available to treat epilepsy, and the choice of medication depends on factors such as the type of seizures, the age of the individual, and any underlying medical conditions. Commonly prescribed AEDs include phenytoin, carbamazepine, valproate, and levetiracetam.

Surgical Treatments

In some cases, medications may not adequately control seizures, or individuals may be ineligible for medication therapy due to side effects or other reasons. In these situations, surgical treatment may be considered:
  • Resection Surgery: This type of surgery involves removing the part of the brain responsible for generating seizures. It is most commonly performed in individuals with focal epilepsy who have a well-defined seizure focus that can be safely removed without causing significant neurological deficits.
  • Corpus Callosotomy: This surgical procedure involves cutting the corpus callosum, the band of nerve fibers that connects the two hemispheres of the brain. It is typically reserved for individuals with severe epilepsy who experience frequent generalized tonic-clonic seizures that do not respond to medication.
  • Temporal Lobectomy: This procedure involves removing a small portion of the temporal lobe of the brain, which is often the source of seizures in individuals with temporal lobe epilepsy. By removing the abnormal tissue causing seizures, temporal lobectomy can significantly reduce seizure frequency and improve quality of life.
  • Hemispherectomy: Hemispherectomy is a more extensive surgery where one hemisphere (half) of the brain is either partially or completely removed. This procedure is typically reserved for individuals with severe epilepsy that originates from one hemisphere and cannot be controlled with medications or other treatments.

Lifestyle Advice and Self-Care Tips

In addition to medications and surgical treatments, there are several lifestyle modifications and self-care strategies that can help manage epilepsy and reduce the risk of seizures:
  • Getting enough sleep: Lack of sleep can trigger seizures in some people, so it's important to prioritize good sleep hygiene and maintain a regular sleep schedule.
  • Avoiding alcohol and recreational drugs: Alcohol and certain recreational drugs can lower the seizure threshold and increase the risk of seizures, so it's best to avoid them.
  • Managing stress: Stress and anxiety can contribute to seizure activity in some individuals, so finding healthy ways to manage stress, such as relaxation techniques or therapy, can be beneficial.
  • Following a healthy diet: Some people with epilepsy find that certain dietary changes, such as following a ketogenic diet or avoiding specific trigger foods, can help reduce seizure frequency.
  • Taking medications as prescribed: It's essential to take epilepsy medications exactly as prescribed by a healthcare provider and to attend regular follow-up appointments to monitor treatment effectiveness and adjust medication doses as needed.
By incorporating these lifestyle changes and self-care tips into their daily routine, people with epilepsy can better manage their condition and improve their quality of life.

Clinical Trials for Epilepsy

Clinical trials are instrumental in advancing our understanding of epilepsy and developing new treatments. These trials help researchers test the safety and effectiveness of new medications, therapies, and interventions designed to control seizures and improve the quality of life for epileptics. By participating in clinical trials, those with epilepsy have the opportunity to access groundbreaking treatments that may not be available through standard care, contribute to scientific knowledge, and potentially benefit from improved seizure control

Participating in a clinical trial for epilepsy involves volunteering to test a new treatment or intervention under the guidance of healthcare professionals and researchers. Before joining a clinical trial, a thorough screening process is performed to determine eligibility and suitability for the study. This screening may involve medical assessments, laboratory tests, and interviews with healthcare providers.

Once enrolled in a clinical trial, participants receive either the study treatment or a placebo according to the trial protocol and are closely monitored by the research team for any changes in their condition or treatment response. Participants may be required to attend regular clinic visits, undergo additional tests or evaluations, and keep detailed records of their symptoms and experiences during the trial.

How CenTrial.org Matches Participants with Epilepsy Trials

CenTrial connects individuals with epilepsy to clinical trials relevant to their conditions and needs. The platform uses a sophisticated matching algorithm to identify suitable clinical trials based on each person's medical history, symptoms, and treatment preferences. Participants can sign up on CenTrial.org and complete a health profile to provide information about their epilepsy diagnosis, treatment history, and other relevant factors.

Once registered, participants receive notifications about clinical trials that match their profile and may choose to participate in trials that interest them. CenTrial streamlines the process of finding and participating in clinical trials, making it easier for those with epilepsy to access new treatments and contribute to epilepsy research. Through its matching service, CenTrial helps advance epilepsy research and improve treatment options for individuals living with the condition.

Frequently Asked Questions about Epilepsy

What is the major cause of epilepsy?

The major cause of epilepsy varies from person to person. In many cases, the exact cause may not be known. However, common causes include genetic factors, brain injury or trauma, infections, and developmental disorders.

Can epileptics have a normal life?

Yes, many individuals with epilepsy lead normal, fulfilling lives with appropriate treatment and management. With the right medication, lifestyle adjustments, and support, most people with epilepsy can control their seizures and engage in daily activities.

Does epilepsy go away?

For some individuals, epilepsy may be a lifelong condition. However, there are cases where seizures may stop occurring over time, especially in children who outgrow their epilepsy or individuals whose seizures are triggered by specific factors that can be controlled.

What age does epilepsy start?

Epilepsy can develop at any age, but it most commonly begins in childhood or after the age of 65. However, epilepsy can develop at any stage of life.

Is epilepsy 100% curable?

While epilepsy cannot always be cured, many individuals with epilepsy can achieve good seizure control with appropriate treatment. Some may experience long periods without seizures, while others may have seizures that are well-managed with medication and lifestyle adjustments.

Does epilepsy affect memory?

Epilepsy can affect memory in some people, especially if seizures involve regions of the brain responsible for memory function. However, not all individuals with epilepsy experience memory problems, and the severity of memory impairment can vary.

What are the warning signs of epilepsy?

Warning signs of epilepsy may include unusual sensations, such as tingling or numbness, sudden changes in mood or behavior, brief episodes of staring or confusion, and sudden jerking movements or convulsions.

What is the difference between seizures and epilepsy?

Seizures are the physical manifestations of abnormal electrical activity in the brain, while epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures.

Can epilepsy patients get pregnant?

Yes, women with epilepsy can get pregnant and have children. However, managing epilepsy during pregnancy requires careful planning and coordination with healthcare professionals to ensure the safety of both the mother and the baby.

Can epilepsy get worse with age?

Epilepsy can change over time, and in some cases, seizures may become more frequent or harder to control as individuals age. However, this is not true for everyone, and many people with epilepsy experience stable or improved seizure control with age.

In Summary

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures, and it can have a significant impact on an individual's life. Understanding epilepsy, its causes, symptoms, and available treatments, is essential for effectively managing the condition and improving quality of life. Medications, surgical treatments, and lifestyle modifications can help individuals with epilepsy achieve better seizure control and lead fulfilling lives.

Additionally, participating in clinical trials provides opportunities to access cutting-edge treatments, contribute to scientific knowledge, and potentially benefit from innovative therapies not yet available through standard care. By seeking treatment and considering participation in clinical trials, those with epilepsy can play an active role in managing their condition and advancing epilepsy research.

CenTrial.org plays a vital role in advancing epilepsy research by connecting people who have epilepsy to clinical trials that match their specific needs and preferences. CenTrial streamlines the process of finding and participating in research studies, ultimately advancing the understanding of epilepsy and improving outcomes for individuals living with the condition.
About Epilepsy
Efficacy of Ketogenic Diets for Infant Epilepsy
The Power of Modified Atkins Diet for Drug-Resistant Epilepsy
Evaluating Valproic Acid's Effectiveness for Epileptic Seizures
Melatonin Shows Promise in Treating Seizures and Sleep Quality for People with Epilepsy

Electrical Stimulation Improves Seizure Control in Children with Drug-Resistant Epilepsy

Cannabis: Safe and Effective Therapy in Epilepsy
I'm Now Seizure-Free


This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. CenTrial Data Ltd. does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. Treatments and clinical trials mentioned may not be appropriate or available for all trial participants. Outcomes from treatments and clinical trials may vary from person to person. Consult with your doctor as to whether a clinical trial is a suitable option for your condition. Assistance from generative AI tools may have been used in writing this article.
Find a Trial