Epilepsy is a general term used for a group of disorders that cause disturbances in electrical signaling in the brain. An epileptic seizure occurs when these energy pulses come much more rapidly due to an electrical abnormality in the brain. This brief electrical surge can happen in just a small area of the brain, or it can affect the whole brain. Depending on the part of the brain that is affected, the surge of electrical energy can cause changes in a person's sensations or state of consciousnes, and uncontrolled movements of certain parts of the body or of the whole body. These changes are known as an epileptic seizure. Epileptic seizures vary in severity and frequency. A seizure is a symptom of epilepsy, but not all seizures are caused by epilepsy.