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Epilepsy (often referred to as a seizure disorder) is a chronic neurological condition characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures. It is usually controlled with medication.
Epileptic seizures are classified both by their patterns of activity in the brain and their effects on behaviour. In terms of their pattern of activity, seizures may be described as either partial or generalised. Partial seizures only involve a localised part of the brain, whereas generalised seizures involve the entire cortex.
All the causes of epilepsy are not known, but many predisposing factors have been identified, including brain damage resulting from malformations of brain development, head trauma, brain tumor, high fever, bacterial or viral encephalitis, stroke, intoxication, or acute or inborn disturbances of metabolism. Hereditary or genetic factors also may play a role.