Topic Outline

I. History and Background
A. History
B. Causative Agent
C. Characteristics and Symptoms

II. Knowing and Treating the Disease

A. Effected Populations and Transmission of Disease
B. Diagnosis
C. Treatment

III. Complications and Control

A. Complications
B. Prevention/Control

Epilepsy is nothing new to the medical world. Records of the disease date back as far as 2000 B.C. Symptoms of the disease are even mentioned in the Bible, in the gospel of Mark. However, for a very long time epilepsy was a very misunderstood condition. It was thought of as a spiritual disease. The great Hippocrates wrote a book on the condition, On the Sacred Disease, explaining how the seizures were not related to spirituality and religion. He went on to explain that it was all connected to a neurological disorder. In the 1600s, seizures were mistaken for possession by demonic forces. Sadly, many women were mistakenly condemned as witches when they had seizures. From then until now, science has developed in some of the most unbelievable ways. Epilepsy is now better understood and is able to be treated to minimize symptoms in order to allow a person to live more comfortably. In order to explain the outer condition, however, one must understand what goes on in the mind first.
Epilepsy mainly effects the part of the brain called the cerebral cortex. The job of the cerebral cortex is to regularly receive “messages,” known as neurons. Neurons are what control a person’s everyday activities. In the normally functioning brain, neurons are rhythmically sent to the cerebral cortex. The brain then processes the neurological “messages” and the body functions normally. For a person with epilepsy, the neurons are sent in abnormal bursts and the cerebral cortex cannot process them correctly. Epileptic episodes can be triggered by several things. Some of these things include flickering lights, stress, lack of sleep, high fevers, poor diet,...