Anyone can develop epilepsy, at any time of life.
Epilepsy is usually only diagnosed after a person has had more than one seizure and not all seizures are due to epilepsy. Epilepsy can happen in people of all ages, races and social classes. Epilepsy is most commonly diagnosed in children and in people over 65.
There are over half a million people with epilepsy in the UK, so around 1 in 100 people.
Other conditions that can look like epilepsy include fainting, or very low blood sugar in some people being treated for diabetes. On this page, when we use the term 'seizure' we mean epileptic seizure.
Non-epileptic seizures (NES) or dissociative seizures may look similar to epileptic seizures but they are not caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain.This guide will help you understand what non-epileptic seizures are, what causes them, how they are diagnosed and how they can be treated.
Information about seizures and treatment for people with epilepsy and learning disability.
An 'aura' is the term that some people use to describe the warning they feel before they have a tonic clonic seizure. An epilepsy 'aura' is in fact a focal aware seizure.
There are many different types of epileptic seizure. Any of us could potentially have a single epileptic seizure at some point in our lives. This is not the same as having epilepsy, which is a tendency to have seizures that start in the brain.
By supporting our cause you can help us make a difference to the lives of 600,000 people living with epilepsy in the UK.
Epilepsy Society's confidential helpline is available for anyone affected by epilepsy. We welcome calls from people with epilepsy, their families and friends, as well as professionals such as doctors, nurses, care workers, teachers and employers.
Want to know more?
Order or download our what is epilepsy? leaflet:
Information produced: January 2019
For printed copies, please call our Helpline on 01494 601 400. Please note - we require a purchase order for bulk orders.
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In these challenging times, charities like Epilepsy Society rely on donations to ensure vital services for our beneficiaries can continue. If you can spare a donation or pledge a monthly gift, you will be helping to ensure we continue to support everyone affected by epilepsy. Thank you.