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Here are some words that you may hear.
Understanding these words can help you understand your condition.


Add-on drug:

A medication taken along with another medication to treat the same condition.

AMPA receptor:

A type of receptor on nerve cells that helps receive signals. When they receive too many signals, a seizure can happen.

Antiepileptic drug (AED):

A medication used to treat different types of seizures. Also may be called an anticonvulsant.

Aura:

A warning you may feel before a seizure. It is a strange feeling or sense that lets you know a seizure is about to happen. This is different for each person.

Breakthrough seizure:

A seizure that happens in spite of successful treatment with anti-seizure medication(s).

Complex partial seizure:

A seizure that starts in one part of the brain. Your awareness is affected.

Convulsive seizure:

A seizure that, regardless of origin, includes involuntary convulsive or jerking movements, most often with loss of consciousness.

Efficacy:

A measure of how a medication helps treat a condition or symptoms.

Epilepsy:

A group of related disorders in which a person is at risk of having recurrent unprovoked seizures.

Focal seizure:

Another term that means "partial-onset seizure." Starts in one part of the brain.

Generalized seizure:

A seizure that starts in both sides of the brain at the same time.

Grand mal seizure:

Another term that means "primary generalized tonic-clonic seizure (PGTC)."

Half-life:

The time it takes for the level of a drug in the body to reduce by half. If a drug has a short half-life, it may need to be taken more often than a drug with a long half-life.

Idiopathic generalized epilepsy:

A type of epilepsy that can cause many different types of seizures, including primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures.

Neuron:

A nerve cell. The brain has billions of neurons. They send signals to each other.

Partial-onset seizure:

A seizure that starts in one part of the brain. Also known as a focal seizure.

Primary generalized tonic-clonic seizure:

This type of seizure starts in both sides of the brain at the same time. During the seizure, muscles become stiff and then make jerking movements. Also known as a grand mal seizure.

  • Primary means the seizure happens without another one happening first
  • Generalized means it starts in both sides of the brain at the same time
  • Tonic is the first stage of the seizure, when the muscles stiffen
  • Clonic is the second stage, when the muscles begin to jerk rapidly

Seizure:

A manifestation of uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain. It affects how you feel, move, act, or think for a brief period of time.

Side effects:

Unwanted symptoms caused by medical treatment.

Simple partial seizure:

A seizure that starts in one part of the brain. Your awareness is not affected.

SUDEP:

Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is the unexpected death of a person with epilepsy, without an accident, trauma, or any known cause.

Tonic-clonic seizure:

A seizure that causes muscles to become stiff and then make jerking movements.

Triggers:

Things that can cause a seizure to happen. Two examples are flashing lights and stress.

Uncontrolled seizures:

When you continue to have seizures despite receiving treatment.