What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological condition defined by recurrent seizures which occur because of a surge of electrical activity within the brain.

Seizures can happen when you are awake or sleeping and can cause changes in consciousness, awareness, behaviour or feelings.

There are many different types of seizure and the type you  have will depend on which part of the brain is affected.  Some people will have more than one type of seizure.

Between 362,000 and 415,000 people have epilepsy in the UK (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence [NICE] guidelines, 2012).


  • The diagnosis of epilepsy is based largely on the description of the event from the patient and a first hand eye witness account.  You should bring the eye witness or a written description of the event from them, to your clinic appointment.
  • An individual may also undergo investigations such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scan, Electroencephalogram (EEG) and Electrocardiogram (ECG).
  • A person is diagnosed with epilepsy if they have recurrent seizures.