Epilepsy is a chronic disorder characterized by recurrent seizures. Seizures occur when neurons in the brain misfire. Some patients may have auras prior to the seizure which may consist of the following: changes in smell, sound, taste, vision, fear, nausea, déjà vu, and others. During the seizure, patient may stare off into space, have convulsions, or display other complex motor movements. Epilepsy can have numerous causes some of which include genetics, stroke, tumor, developmental abnormalities, metabolic disturbances, and reaction or withdrawal to medications. However, many times we do not know the reason. EEGs are often done to identify and better characterize the seizure. Sometimes this may also require ambulatory or inpatient monitoring. MRI of the brain is often done to rule out some of the causes mentioned in the above. Blood work and a physical examination is also necessary during the evaluation. Most patients respond well to medications and can live a normal life. When they are more severe, several medications may be required. Surgery and vagal nerve stimulation are more invasive methods used for patients with aggressive symptoms.

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