Epilepsy and Seizures Epilepsy is one of the most common disorders of the nervous system and affects people of all ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds. Evaluation of First-Time Seizure When your brain's electrical system doesn't work properly, a seizure occurs. Some factors can make those electrical impulses fire erratically and without reason, essentially resulting in a "short" in your brain that causes a seizure. Medical Management of Epilepsy Epilepsy is a condition that causes seizures, temporary reactions that often include twitching and convulsions. But epilepsy can usually be managed well through medication and other treatments. Refractory Epilepsy About one-third of people with epilepsy will eventually develop refractory epilepsy. This means that medicines don't work well, or at all, to control the seizures. Status Epilepticus A seizure that lasts at least 30 minutes is called status epilepticus, or a prolonged seizure. This is a medical emergency that may lead to brain damage or death. Epilepsy and Pregnancy Epilepsy and the medications to treat it can have affect the mother, the pregnancy, and the fetus and newborn. Fortunately, most women are able to have a healthy pregnancy and baby.