Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Kenneth R. PerrineEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1042


Cerebral seizures; Convulsive disorder; Seizure disorder

Short Description or Definition

Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures of cerebral origin. Neither a specific disease nor a single syndrome, epilepsy encompasses a variety of symptom complexes arising from multifarious brain dysfunctions from various pathologic processes that produce seizures from a flurry of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. The hallmark of epilepsy is two or more unprovoked seizures (excluding, e.g., seizures secondary to alcohol withdrawal) occurring more than 24 h apart. Seizures may be accompanied by a wide range of behavioral disturbances and may or may not entail a loss of consciousness. They sometimes involve an “aura” (see entry for  “Aura”), a subjective sensation signaling the onset of a seizure that may include sensory experiences such as smells and visual distortions. There is a great deal of heterogeneity in epilepsy’s presentation, any...

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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Neurological SurgeryWeill Cornell MedicineNew YorkUSA