<disease>

<neurology> The paroxysmal transient disturbances of brain function that may be manifested as episodic impairment or loss of consciousness, abnormal motor phenomena, psychic or sensory disturbances or perturbation of the autonomic nervous system.

Symptoms are due to paroxysmal disturbance of the electrical activity of the brain. On the basis of origin, epilepsy is idiopathic (cryptogenic, essential, genetic) or symptomatic (acquired, organic). On the basis of clinical and electroencephalographic phenomenon, four subdivisions are recognised:

1. Grand mal epilepsy (major epilepsy, haut mal epilepsy) subgroups: generalised, focal (localised), jacksonian (rolandic)

2. Petit mal epilepsy

3. Psychomotor epilepsy (temporal lobe epilepsy, psychic, psychic equivalent or variant) subgroups: psychomotor proper (tonic with adversive or torsion movements or masticatory phenomena), automatic (with amnesia) and sensory (hallucinations or dream states or dj. Vu)

4. Autonomic epilepsy (diencephalic), with flushing, pallor, tachycardia, hypertension, perspiration or other visceral symptoms.

Synonyms: epilepsia.

Origin: Gr. Epilepsia = seizure

(14 May 1997)