What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is defined by the occurrence of at least two unprovoked seizures occurring more than 24 hours apart. Seizures are caused by a sudden and abnormal pattern of electrical activity in brain cells. An estimated 65 million individuals worldwide currently live with epilepsy, with men, women, and children of all ethnic backgrounds equally at risk.

In many cases, seizures result in convulsions and loss of consciousness. Seizures may also present in other ways that affect personality, mood, memory, sensation, and/or movement. Blank stares, intermittent eye movements, and rapid involuntary movements of the extremities are examples of possible displays of seizures.

Knowing the genetic basis of an individual’s epilepsy is valuable for

  • obtaining a definitive diagnosis
  • distinguishing between syndromic and non-syndromic forms of epilepsy
  • estimating prognosis
  • determining recurrence risks
  • guiding treatment choices

Courtagen offers the following tests for epilepsy and seizures: