Epilepsy Conditions

Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes repeated, unpredictable seizures. There are many possible causes for epilepsy, including brain injury, illness and abnormal brain development. Many times however, the cause can’t be determined.

Epilepsy Conditions We Treat

Our specialists at University Health System South Texas Comprehensive Epilepsy Center (STCEC) have the state-of-the-art technology and expertise to diagnose and treat all types of epilepsy. Types of epilepsy are categorized by what causes the seizures, and each category includes many different types of epilepsy and many different types of seizures.

Seizures are also divided into different categories. Each category — generalized and partial (also known as localized) — includes many subcategories of seizures. Generalized seizures involve the entire brain, and partial seizures occur in just one area of the brain.

The epilepsy categories we treat include:

Genetic (Idiopathic) Epilepsy

Genetic (also called idiopathic) epilepsy has no apparent cause. It’s likely due to genetics, even if there’s no family history of epilepsy. Approximately 30 percent of epilepsies are genetic, and most often seizures begin in childhood. Genetic epilepsy syndromes are usually treated with medication and children often outgrow many types of them.

Common types of genetic epilepsy are:

  • Childhood absence
  • Juvenile myoclonic
  • Benign Rolandic

Symptomatic Epilepsy

Symptomatic epilepsy is not genetic and has a known cause such as:

  • Severe head injury
  • Infection
  • Stroke
  • Brain tumors

Symptomatic epilepsy is more common in adults, particularly those over age 60. Treatment options include medication and surgery. Types of symptomatic epilepsy include:

  • Hippocampal sclerosis
  • Lennox-Gastaut syndrome

Cryptogenic Epilepsy

Cryptogenic epilepsy is probably symptomatic epilepsy and has a likely cause, but the cause hasn’t been identified.