The name epilepsy comes from the Greek for "to be seized." Sudden seizure is the hallmark of this illness. It may involve falling to the ground and twitching spasmodically, but not always.
As the brain goes about its daily functions, millions of electrical and chemical signals pass from its nerve cells out to the body. These electrochemical messages are necessary for almost everything we do and feel. Seizures are a sudden and abnormally high discharge of electrical activity among large numbers of nerve cells in the brain. This can result in involuntary and unusually large signals being sent to the muscles.
Epilepsy is one of the most common disorders of the central nervous system, appearing before the age of 25 in 1 out of every 100 people. A further 2% of the population will develop it between the ages of 25 and 75. 1 person out of 10 will have a seizure during their lifetime but the diagnosis of epilepsy is only made if there have been at least 2 episodes of seizures on different days.