Epilepsy in Adults

Epilepsy is a brain disorder in which a person has repeated seizures (convulsions) over time.


Seizures are episodes of abnormal brain activity that cause changes in attention or behavior. Epilepsy may be due to a medical condition or an injury that affects the brain, or the cause could be idiopathic (of unknown origin). In this Q&A we answer some of your most common questions about epilepsy.


Common causes of epilepsy include:

  • Stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA)
  • Dementia
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Infections, including brain abscess, meningitis, and encephalitis
  • Brain problems that are present at birth (congenital brain defect)
  • Brain injury that occurs during or near birth
  • Brain tumor
  • Abnormal blood vessels in the brain