Epilepsy is one of the most common chronic neurological conditions. Around 32,000 people living in Wales have active epilepsy and approximately 1,500 people in Wales will develop epilepsy each year. It is estimated that around 4,000 people in Wales are having seizures that could be prevented with optimal treatment.
Epilepsy is defined as a tendency to have seizures and it is a complex, intermittent and unpredictable condition. It is due to abnormal electrical activity in the brain which may manifest itself in a disturbance of consciousness, behaviour emotion, motor function or sensation. Generalised seizures affect all of the brain; the best known generalised seizure is a tonic/clonic seizure where the person may fall to the ground unconscious and display rhythmical jerking. Focal or partial seizures affect part of the brain and some of these are associated with unusual behaviour which may also affect levels of awareness. Seizures can vary in frequency, from less than one a year to having several per day.