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Epilepsy is a neurological condition--that is a condition affecting the nervous system Epilepsy is also known as a seizure disorder It is usually diagnosed after a person has had at least two seizures that were not caused by some known medical condition like alcohol withdrawal or extremely low blood sugar The seizures in epilepsy may be related to a brain injury or a family tendency but usually the cause is unknown The word epilepsy does not indicate anything about the cause of the persons seizures what type they are or how severe they are Usually there is a fine balance in the brain between factors that begin electrical activity and factors that restrict it and there are systems that limit its spread During a seizure these limits break down and abnormal electrical discharges can occur and spread to whole groups of neighboring cells at once This linkage of electrical discharges creates a storm of electrical activity in the brain This is a seizure When a person has had at least two of these seizures then that is called epilepsy1 In the case of Vincent van Gogh there are every reasons showing that he was suffered from a focal epilepsy accompanied by simple focal and complex focal seizures It is regarded as a symptomatic type of epilepsy A difficult protracted birth pronouncedly abnormal behavior in childhood but normal intelligence and focal and possibly also secondary generalized epileptic seizures pointing to the temporal region as the focus of the epileptic activity these mosaic stones fit together to make a picture of a residual epilepsy after cerebral damage caused in early infancy It is suggested that perhaps there was a genetic tendency to epilepsy in the family there are indications that van Goghs mothers sister his brother Theo and his nine years younger sister Wilhelmine also suffered from epileptic seizures for a time2 Richard Jed Wyatt of the National Institute of Mental Health argued
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