Epilepsy and Seizures Treated by Neurology Doctors at Mercy

Mercy Medical Center - Baltimore, MD

At The Neurology Center at Mercy Medical Center, our neurologists are dedicated to diagnosing and treating patients with epilepsy, a neurologic condition caused by repeated seizures

About the Condition

Epilepsy, also known as a seizure disorder, is a neurological disorder in which the brain produces sudden bursts of electrical energy that interrupt other brain functions, causing a person to have repeated seizures over time.

Seizures, a symptom of epilepsy, are abnormal movements or behaviors that cause changes in attention or behavior. The physical changes are called epileptic seizures. A single seizure is not considered an epileptic seizure. Epileptic seizures usually take place between the ages of five and 20, but can occur at any age.

What causes Epilepsy?

The cause of epilepsy is unknown. However, in some cases, epilepsy can occur because of certain conditions including:

  • Alzheimer’s disease or dementia
  • Birth injuries
  • Brain tumor
  • Brain trauma
  • Family history of seizures or epilepsy
  • Infectious diseases
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Epilepsy symptoms are different for each individual. The type of seizure will depend on the region of the brain in which the seizure occurs. Some common symptoms are staring spells, violent shaking and loss of alertness. Some people have an “aura” experience, an unusual feeling like tingling, smelling an odor that is not present, or an emotional change, before having a seizure.

To diagnose epilepsy, the doctor, a neurologist, will perform a complete physical exam that will include a comprehensive look at the brain and nervous system. The doctor may also order others tests, including:

  • EEG
  • Blood chemistry
  • Blood sugar
  • CBC (complete blood count)
  • Kidney function test
  • Liver function test
  • Lumbar puncture (spinal tap)
  • Test for infectious diseases
NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

An accurate diagnosis is key to treating epilepsy. The familiar treatment option for epilepsy is medication. If epileptic seizures are due to a tumor, abnormal blood vessels, or bleeding in the brain, surgery may be required to help make the seizures cease. Children with epileptic seizures are sometimes placed on special diets, such as the ketogenic diet.