Epileptic Seizures

  • Jerome EngelJr.
Reference work entry

What are Epileptic Seizures?

Epileptic seizures are the principal clinical manifestations of the epilepsies. A simplistic view of brain disturbances is that they consist of either neuronal underactivity, giving rise to negative signs and symptoms such as paralysis and blindness, or overactivity, giving rise to positive signs and symptoms, the most common of which is epileptic seizures. There are, however, many different types of seizures, and it has been difficult to identify factors that distinguish epileptic seizures from other positive signs and symptoms that are not believed to be generated by epileptic neuronal mechanisms, such as hallucinations, myoclonus, other movement disorders, and migraine. The International League against Epilepsy (ILAE) defines an epileptic seizure as “a transient occurrence of signs and/or symptoms due to abnormal excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain” (Fisher et al. 2005). While previous concepts of epileptic seizures referred to an...


Epileptic Seizure Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Seizure Type Focal Seizure Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of abbreviations


International League Against Epilepsy



Original research reported by the author was supported in part by Grants NS-02808, NS-15654, and NS-33310.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jerome EngelJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Neurology, Neurobiology, and Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, and the Brain Research InstituteDavid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLALos AngelesUSA

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