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glossary - e

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Educational psychologist  – a person who specialises in the mental and emotional development of children. Educational psychologists are often involved in supporting children who have special educational needs at school.

Effective  - effective is a measure of how well something works. When anti-epileptic drugs are described as being 'effective' it means that they stop seizures.

Electroencephalogram (EEG) – a test which looks at brain activity. The test involves having small electrodes put on the head to record the electrical activity of the brain. This test is often done if someone is thought to be having seizures. The test can only record the activity of the brain at the time the test is being done. An EEG usually cannot say for certain if someone has epilepsy but it can be used alongside the results of other tests to reach a diagnosis.

Electroencephalograph  – the machine that carries out the electroencephalogram.

Emergency medication  – medication that is given to stop prolonged or repeated seizures (to stop status epilepticus from happening).

Enzyme  – proteins found in the body that help with normal chemical reactions.

Enzyme-inducing drugs  – drugs that increase the levels of enzymes in the liver. Enzyme-inducing AEDs are likely to affect types of contraception that have hormones in them (and make the contraception less effective in stopping pregnancy). This is an important point for women with epilepsy who take both AEDs and some forms of contraception.

Epidemiological studies – looking at the effects of a condition in a population.

Epigastric rising sensation – a rising feeling you get in your stomach, like when you go on a fairground ride or over a hump-back bridge where you ‘lose your tummy at the top’. This is a common simple focal seizure.

Epilepsy – the tendency to have repeated seizures that start in the brain.

Epilepsy surgery - different types of surgery on the brain to try to reduce or stop seizures. Some people with epilepsy, whose seizures are not controlled or significantly reduced with medication, are able to have epilepsy surgery. Also called neurosurgery.

Epileptic focus – the area of the brain where focal epileptic seizures start.

Epileptic seizure – seizures that start due to interrupted electrical activity in the brain but can affect the body in many different ways.

Epileptogenic lesion – an abnormality or area of damage in the brain that is a specific cause of epileptic seizures starting.

Equality Act 2010 – this is a legal act which means that people with a disability (a 'characteristic') cannot be treated less well (discriminated against) than someone without a disability because of their disability. It applies to employment, education, buying and renting land and property and access to goods (for example, shopping), facilities (for example, libraries and leisure centres) and services (for example, using a bank). Other 'characteristics' to which discrimination can apply, and which the act covers, include age, gender and race.

Excitatory/inhibitory – neurotransmitters that either excite or inhibit a neurone so that either the message is carried on or it is stopped.