Patients may now be accompanied by visitors. Read our updated visitor policy. NYU Langone specialists at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center have expertise in recognizing the many types of epilepsy and seizure disorders affecting adults. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder in which a person has two or more unprovoked seizures that occur more than 24 hours apart. A seizure is an excessive surge of electrical activity in the brain that can cause a variety of symptoms, depending on which parts of the brain are involved. Seizures may be the result of genetics or a brain injury, but often their cause is unknown.
Epilepsy and Seizures in Older Adults | subsection title | section title | site title
The only symptom of epilepsy is the recurrence of seizures, but not all epileptic seizures are the same. Some seizures cause obvious physical movements or loss of consciousness, but in other cases a seizure might not be visible to a bystander — not even a health professional. Epileptic seizures can vary by the type of epilepsy causing them. Partial epilepsy also known as focal epilepsy causes local seizures that originate in a very specific part of the brain the focus of the seizure , but these seizures can spread across the brain to become generalized seizures. Some seizures consist only of the tonic phase of a grand mal seizure. Atonic seizures also called drop seizures, akinetic seizures, or drop attacks are characterized by a sudden loss of muscle tone that causes an individual to collapse. Although some seizures are mild, anyone with a seizure disorder should be treated to control them.
Did you know that epilepsy is more likely to develop in older adults? Seizures can be easy to miss. Learn how to recognize the signs and how you can help. Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes repeated seizures. About 3 million US adults aged 18 or older have active epilepsy.
Learn Seizure First Aid. A person who has a first seizure in their adult years needs a thorough work-up, just like anyone else. Yet, some things are especially important to consider:.