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[ep-uh-lep-see] /ˈɛp əˌlɛp si/

noun, Pathology.
a disorder of the nervous system, characterized either by mild, episodic loss of attention or sleepiness (petit mal) or by severe convulsions with loss of consciousness (grand mal)
a disorder of the central nervous system characterized by periodic loss of consciousness with or without convulsions. In some cases it is due to brain damage but in others the cause is unknown See also grand mal, petit mal

1570s, from Middle French epilepsie (16c.), from Late Latin epilepsia, from Greek epilepsia “seizure,” from epi “upon” (see epi-) + lepsis “seizure,” from leps-, future stem of lambanein “take hold of, grasp” (see analemma).

Earlier was epilencie (late 14c.), from Middle French epilence, with form influenced by pestilence. The native name was falling sickness.

epilepsy ep·i·lep·sy (ěp’ə-lěp’sē)
Any of various neurological disorders characterized by sudden, recurring attacks of motor, sensory, or psychic malfunction with or without loss of consciousness or convulsive seizures.
Any of various neurological disorders characterized by recurrent seizures. Epilepsy is caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain.
epilepsy [(ep-uh-lep-see)]

A disorder of the brain characterized by sudden, recurring attacks of abnormal brain function, often resulting in convulsions or seizures. The seizures associated with epilepsy can sometimes be controlled by medication.


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  • Epileptics

    [ep-uh-lep-tik] /ˌɛp əˈlɛp tɪk/ Pathology adjective 1. pertaining to or symptomatic of . noun 2. a person affected by . /ˌɛpɪˈlɛptɪk/ adjective 1. of, relating to, or having epilepsy noun 2. a person who has epilepsy adj. c.1600, from French épileptique, from Late Latin epilepticus, from Greek epileptikos, from epilambanein (see epilepsy). Earlier adjective was […]

  • Epileptiform

    epileptiform ep·i·lep·ti·form (ěp’ə-lěp’tə-fôrm’) adj. Epileptoid.

  • Epileptogenic zone

    epileptogenic zone n. A cortical region of the brain that, when stimulated, produces spontaneous seizure or aura.

  • Epileptogenic

    /ˌɛpɪˌlɛptəʊˈdʒɛnɪk/ adjective 1. causing an epileptic attack epileptogenic ep·i·lep·to·gen·ic (ěp’ə-lěp’tə-jěn’ĭk) or ep·i·lep·tog·e·nous (ěp’ə-lěp-tŏj’ə-nəs) adj. Having the capacity to induce epilepsy.

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