Frequently Asked Questions.
Get answers to the most commonly asked medical questions here!
Different seizure types require different levels of intervention but generally, you will want to:
- Check the time so you know when the seizure started.
- Check for medical or emergency identification.
- If you know that the person has epilepsy or a seizure disorder continue to time the episode. If the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes or repeats without full recovery, call for an ambulance.
- Stay with the person as they recover until full awareness returns.
A physician or a neurologist diagnoses epilepsy. The health care professional may ask questions about the seizure such as what happened before, during, and after it. The person will also have an Electroencephalogram (EEG) test to measure the electrical activity in the brain. Additional imaging tests such as MRIs scans might be done as well. Then, based on the information gathered, a diagnosis of epilepsy might be made.
Epilepsy is NOT contagious – you can’t catch it, and you can’t give it to someone else. A lot of the time it’s not known why someone has it – this is called idiopathic epilepsy. However, in other cases, factors like genetics can play a part. When the cause is known it is called secondary or symptomatic epilepsy, and this can result from brain injuries, stroke, infections, and certain genetic syndromes.
They’re very closely related, but not quite the same. A seizure is a brief disruption in normal brain activity that interferes with brain function. Anyone can potentially have a seizure and it doesn’t automatically mean that they have epilepsy. Epilepsy is a brain disorder associated with an increased susceptibility to seizures.