Graciela Elizalde, who suffers from Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a debilitating form of epilepsy, looks on at her house in Monterrey, Mexico, August 31, 2015.Reuters

Epilepsy refers to a chronic disorder in which nerve cell activity in the brain is disturbed, causing seizures. A seizure refers to a sudden surge of electrical activity which takes places in the brain. It is one of the most common neurological disorder people suffer from globally.

According to World Health Organization, there are approximately 50 million people across the world suffering from epilepsy.

The seizures can vary. They can either be in the form of prolonged conversions, muscle jerks or a brief lapse of attention. These seizures are a result of excess electrical discharges taking place in the neurons, also known as brain cells.

Types of epilepsy:

  • Idiopathic epilepsy

- The causes of epilepsy cannot always be identified; it can be an outcome of any condition that affects the brain.

- When the cause of epilepsy is not identified; the reason behind this can be a genetic cause or usage of underdeveloped medical equipments for diagnosis.

- Studies are being conducted by researchers to find out the flaws in the genes which impact the electrical transmissions in the brain.

  • Symptomatic epilepsy

- The identified causes of epilepsy include: brain tumours, cardiovascular ailments, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, serious head injuries and brain damaging infections.

- Improper brain development.

- Issues with umbilical cord during pregnancy.

- Symptomatic epilepsy is found to be more common among people over 60 years of age.

These are the main factors you should avoid/ and take care of to curb epilepsy and cope with it:

  • Stress
  • Improper sleep
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Menstruation
  • Consuming illegal drugs
  • Light sensitivity (this is an unusual trigger and impacts five per cent of people with epilepsy, and is called photosensitive epilepsy)