Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. 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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A medical condition in which the sufferer experiences seizures (or convulsions) and blackouts.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The “falling sickness,” so called because the patient falls suddenly to the ground; a disease characterized by paroxysms (or fits) occurring at interval and attended by sudden loss of consciousness, and convulsive motions of the muscles.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A disease of the brain characterized by recurrent attacks of loss of consciousness with severe muscular spasm (major attack), or
  • n. loss of consciousness attended with little or no muscular disturbance, or, rarely, slight muscular spasm without loss of consciousness (minor attack).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a disorder of the central nervous system characterized by loss of consciousness and convulsions

Etymologies

French épilepsie, from Latin epilēpsia, from Greek epilēpsis, from epilambanein, epilēp-, to lay hold of : epi-, epi- + lambanein, to seize.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Since 16th century; from Old French epilepsie, from Latin epilēpsia, from Ancient Greek ἐπιληψία (epilēpsia), from ἐπιλαμβάνω (epilambanō, "I seize"), from ἐπί (epi, "upon") + λαμβάνω (lambanō, "I take"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The term epilepsy (pronounced as eh-puh-lep-see) originates from a Greek word 'epilepsia' meaning 'falling sickness' It is an illness that affects the brain, causing repeated seizures or 'fits' in the patient which make them to fall.

    Medindia Health News

  • Dr. under told me one time that all forms of'seizures is a form of epilepsy, but they don't like the term epilepsy anymore. "

    Cruel Deception

  • The evaluation of any child for epilepsy surgery requires a team approach, with input from specialists in epilepsy, EEG, neuroradiology, neuropsychology, and neurosurgery — and, of course, ongoing input from patients and families.

    Pediatric Regional Epilepsy Program Services

  • Medically refractory epilepsy is among many devastating illnesses where surgical resection can be highly beneficial, if not curative.

    Magnetoencephalography

  • Specific interests in epilepsy including pre - and post-surgical evaluations; sickle cell disease; long-term outcome of children with congenital heart defects and pediatric stroke.

    Postdoctoral Program

  • “They could provide a platform for a range of devices with applications in epilepsy, spinal cord injuries and other neurological disorders.”

    New Tiny Silk Brain Implants | Impact Lab

  • The region is also thought to be involved in epilepsy - which Tammet also suffered from as a child - and this could indicate that the three conditions may share some underlying genetic or neurological mechanisms.

    I Love New Scientist (fan post)

  • By some estimates, the mortality rate for people with epilepsy is two to three times higher — and the risk of sudden death is 24 times greater — than that of the general population.

    Odin's Day

  • I joke that one of the blessings of epilepsy is that I won't have to deal with all of my friends dying off as I get old; I'll be gone before any of you.

    Odin's Day

  • How, we asked ourselves, do we enlighten the public about this complex set of diseases we call epilepsy?

    Lynda Resnick: Help Us Bring Epilepsy Out of the Shadows

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