Epilepsy is a condition affecting the brain, causing seizures and convulsions. There are in excess of two million people in the United States with epilepsy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The severity and frequency of seizures differs between patients, with some experiencing a trance-like state for a few seconds, and others losing consciousness and experiencing convulsions.
The condition can manifest at any age, but it is more commonly found in children. Causes vary and include damage to the brain, brain tumors and strokes. However, the range of different possible root causes can make it difficult for physicians to establish why it has developed.
Treatment of epilepsy varies according to the nature and severity of each case. In some patients, seizures can be controlled by the avoidance of triggers, such as alcohol, flashing lights and sleep deprivation. A variety of medications are available to treat epilepsy and control its symptoms.
Common drug classes prescribed to patients with the condition include: anticonvulsants, barbiturates, anxiolytics/benzodiazepines and carbonic anhydrase inhibitors.