Approximately 49,000 people live with Epilepsy in New Zealand That’s approximately 1% of the population.

There is no known cure for epilepsy. The medical community are working hard to better understand epilepsy, discover new treatments and find a cure.

Many organisations, just like ours, are also working hard to raise awareness of epilepsy and give support to all those affected by it.

In this section, we talk about epilepsy, its causes and history. We share information about the healthcare professionals who care for people living with epilepsy.

Whether you are a person living with epilepsy or care for someone who does, we hope that you find this information useful and empowering.

Brain scan images with doctor pointing pen at image

What is a Seizure?

Seizures occur because of increased electrical activity in the brain, which can cause altered awareness, thought, movement, sensation, or behaviour.

Seizures can start in one part of the brain, or they can quickly spread to the whole brain. Different parts of the brain are responsible for different functions, so where a seizure starts or spreads will determine how it affects parts of the body. This is one reason why seizures can look so different between people.

Overview of Seizures

Diagnosing Epilepsy

Diagnosing epilepsy is not always easy. The doctor will usually consider the person’s background and medical history, conduct a physical examination, as well as refer them for tests and investigations, to assess the type of seizures and make a diagnosis.

You are likely to meet other medical and health professionals along the way. Information about the different healthcare professionals who may be on your treating team can be found here.

Not sure what we’re talking about?

View our glossary of terms

Two people assisting in first aid

Seizure First Aid

This section provides information about seizure first aid for different kinds of seizures. We also look at what first aid should be used in different settings, like when a seizure happens in water.

Be ready

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