What are Seizures?

A seizure is a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain and usually affects how a person appears or acts for a short time.  Not all seizures are epilepsy.

Epilepsy is a condition of the brain causing seizures. A seizure is a disruption of the electrical communication between neurons. The International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) defines epilepsy in stating “seizures and epilepsy are not the same. An epileptic seizure is a transient occurrence of signs and/or symptoms due to abnormal excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain. Epilepsy is a disease characterized by an enduring predisposition to generate epileptic seizures and by the neurobiological, cognitive, psychological, and social consequences of this condition. Translation: a seizure is an event and epilepsy is the disease involving recurrent unprovoked seizures.”

For more about the basics and beyond, utilize the National Epilepsy Foundation: your unwavering ally in the fight against epilepsy and seizures. You don’t walk alone.

The Center for Disease Control also offers resources to learn more about the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of epilepsy.

The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to stop seizures and SUDEP, find a cure and overcome the challenges created by epilepsy through efforts including education, advocacy and research to accelerate ideas into therapies.

The Iowa office of the National Epilepsy Foundation strongly believes in and adheres to the overall mission of the Epilepsy Foundation. We are a branch of the Epilepsy Foundation of North/ Central Illinois, Iowa & Nebraska operated from Rockford, Illinois.

The Iowa staff consists of: The Director of Iowa Epilepsy Services, the Eastern Iowa Services and the Administrative Assistant. Learn more about our Programs & Services staff here.

EF-Iowa Locations

Main Office
1111 9th Street, Suite 370
Des Moines, Iowa 50314

Eastern Iowa Office
200 Hawkins Drive 2180C RCP
Iowa City, Iowa 52242

We are part of a regional affiliate and the national foundation and overseen by a community council made up of individuals who volunteer their time to offer guidance as to how our resources are spread throughout the state in adherence to our mission. For more information about the council members and potential membership, please visit our Council Page.

Iowa Programs, Services & Outreach

Iowa Seizure Smart Conference
FREE Seizure Recognition & First Aid Training
Epilepsy Empowerment Group Meetings
Epilepsy Education & Literature
Epilepsy Education Folders for newly diagnosed
Individual & Family Support
Information & Referral
Studio E: The Epilepsy Art Therapy Program
Iowa Epilepsy Youth Council
Free medical epilepsy ID bracelets/necklaces
Iowa Youth Epilepsy Camp Scholarships
Iowa Walks for Epilepsy www.efwalk.org
Publication of Epilepsy Empowerment Gazette
Community & Health Fairs
Involvement in state and national epilepsy related advocacy groups
Grassroots Advocacy

View our brochure!

Epilepsy & Seizures 24/7 Information
National Epilepsy Foundation Helpline 1-800-332-1000
En Español 1-866-748-8008