Epilepsy is a brain condition causing recurrent seizures (fits). It may be congenital or acquired later in life after a brain infection, tumour, injury or with brain degeneration in the elderly. Chemical imbalances in the body, kidney failure and removing alcohol from an alcoholic or heroin from an addict may also trigger the condition. Fits are caused by a short-circuit in the brain after very minor and localised damage. This then stimulates another part of the brain, and then another, causing a seizure. Triggers such as flickering lights, shimmering televisions, certain foods, emotional upsets, infections or stress can start fits in some patients.
Epilepsy can be investigated by an EEG (electroencephalogram) to measure the brain waves, blood tests to exclude other diseases and a CT or MRI scan of the brain to find any structural abnormality.
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