Epilepsy is a group of brain disorders marked by the recurrence of seizures caused by a disturbance in the normal nerve activity in the brain.
Looking for care for epilepsy in Southern California? Experts at Dignity Health Southern California provide comprehensive care for a range of neurological conditions. We can diagnose your symptoms and find a treatment option that is personalized to your unique case and type of epilepsy.
Use our online Find a Doctor tool and make an appointment today.
Causes of Epilepsy
Epilepsy is caused by factors that interrupt the regular nerve activity of the brain. Circumstances that can cause this type of disruption are:
- Brain tumors
- Alzheimer’s disease or dementia
- Infections, such as meningitis
- Congenital brain defects (present at birth)
- Brain injury
- Abnormally formed blood vessels in the brain
- Blood chemistry abnormalities
The cause of epilepsy is often unknown. In some cases, epilepsy runs in families.
Symptoms of Epilepsy
Seizures are the primary sign of epilepsy. A patient must experience multiple seizures to be diagnosed with epilepsy. Experiencing a single seizure due to an injury or illness, such as head trauma or a high fever, is not considered epilepsy.
Seizure symptoms vary depending on where the seizure originates in the brain. Seizure signs and symptoms can include:
- Shaking of the arms and legs, or the whole body
- Short periods of staring, usually for less than 15 seconds, which you can’t recall later
- Rigid muscles
- Momentary inability to speak
- Abnormal head shaking
People with epilepsy may also experience other symptoms, such as smelling odors that don’t exist, pre-seizure mood changes, a tingling sensation, and having an uneasy or strange feeling.
Treatment Options for Epilepsy at Dignity Health Southern California
Our neurology experts understand how epilepsy can affect your life. Our goal for epilepsy treatment include preserving optimal quality of life, reducing seizure frequency and severity, and avoiding treatment side effects. Your treatment plan will depend on the cause of your seizures and may include:
- Medications to reduce the frequency of seizures
- Addressing underlying health conditions, such as a brain tumor
- Surgery to remove brain tissue
- Surgery to implant a device that regulates nerve function
Make an appointment today to learn about what options are right for you. Dignity Health offers specialized care for epilepsy in Southern California.