If you have epilepsy, you have a central nervous system disorder that may cause you to lose consciousness and have convulsions.

The noun epilepsy comes from the Greek word epilēpsia, which itself means seizure. Not all seizures are caused by epilepsy, but an epileptic seizure occurs when a strong electrical disturbance occurs in the brain. The severity and intensity of the seizures depend on many factors and are unique to each person. It may be possible to control seizures through medication, although not everyone with epilepsy will respond to medication. People with uncontrolled epilepsy should not drive.

Definitions of epilepsy

n a disorder of the central nervous system characterized by loss of consciousness and convulsions

show 15 types...
hide 15 types...
akinetic epilepsy
epilepsy characterized by akinesia
cortical epilepsy, focal epilepsy
epilepsy in which the attacks begins with an isolated disturbance of cerebral function (as a twitching of a limb or an illusory sensation or a mental disturbance)
epilepsia major, generalized epilepsy, grand mal, grand mal epilepsy
epilepsy in which the attacks involve loss of consciousness and tonic spasms of the musculature followed by generalized jerking
Lafora's disease, myoclonus epilepsy
epilepsy characterized by clonus of muscle groups and progressive mental deterioration and genetic origin
epilepsia minor, petit mal, petit mal epilepsy
epilepsy characterized by paroxysmal attacks of brief clouding of consciousness (and possibly other abnormalities)
posttraumatic epilepsy, traumatic epilepsy
a convulsive epileptic state caused by a head injury
procursive epilepsy
epilepsy in which a seizure is induced by whirling or running
psychomotor epilepsy, temporal lobe epilepsy
epilepsy characterized clinically by impairment of consciousness and amnesia for the episode; often involves purposeful movements of the arms and legs and sometimes hallucinations
reflex epilepsy
a form of epilepsy in which attacks are induced by peripheral stimulation
status epilepticus
a condition in which there are continuing attacks of epilepsy without intervals of consciousness; can lead to brain damage and death
tonic epilepsy
epilepsy in which the body is rigid during the seizure
Jacksonian epilepsy
focal epilepsy in which the attack usually moves from distal to proximal limb muscles on the same side of the body
musicogenic epilepsy
reflex epilepsy induced by music
photogenic epilepsy
reflex epilepsy induced by a flickering light
sensory epilepsy
focal epilepsy initiated by somatosensory phenomena
Type of:
brain disease, brain disorder, encephalopathy
any disorder or disease of the brain

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.