The belief widely held in many countries is that a person with epilepsy is seized by a supernatural force or power. This ancient belief is reflected in the name of the disorder -- the word "epilepsy" being derived from the Greek word "epilambanein" which means "to seize or attack". We now know, however, that seizures are the result of sudden, usually brief, excessive electrical discharges in a group of brain cells (neurones) and that different part of the brain can be the site of such discharges. The clinical manifestations of seizures will therefore vary and depend on where in the brain the disturbance first starts and how far it spreads. Transient symptoms can occur, such as loss of awareness or consciousness and disturbances of movement, sensation (including vision, hearing and taste), mood or mental function.