A chronic neurological and developmental disorder characterized by “recurrent, unprovoked seizures,” according to the Epilepsy Foundation, which also states that it is the fourth most common neurological disorder. Epilepsy manifests differently in individuals: The severity of epileptic seizures, their occurrence rates and the emergence of other health problems differ from person to person. Epilepsy is most commonly treated with medication but treatment also can include use of medical devices, surgery, diet and emerging therapy methods.
Refer to someone as having epilepsy only if the information is relevant to the story and if the person has been formally diagnosed by a licensed medical professional. Use people-first language, stating that someone has epilepsy or has been diagnosed with epilepsy rather than referring to him or her as an epileptic.
The term seizure is the preferred term when referring to the brief manifestation of symptoms common among those with epilepsy. Avoid stating that the person had a fit or an epileptic fit.« Back to Glossary Index