Epilepsy: Exploring INFORMATION / KNOWLEDGE / EMPOWERMENT MODULE 1: Epilepsy 101 18 Neuron A nerve cell. Nerve cells communicate with each other in the brain and can send messages to other parts of the body.11 Nurse A healthcare professional who may work with you and your doctor to help manage your epilepsy.4 Occipital lobe The part of your brain at the back of your head that controls vision.7,12 Occupational therapist A healthcare professional who may help you learn new ways of doing things in your daily life.4 Parietal lobe The part of your brain behind your frontal lobe (in the middle of the head) that processes information about temperature, taste, touch, and movement.7,13 Pharmacist A healthcare professional who may help you manage your epilepsy medications and any other medications you may be taking.4 Physical therapist A healthcare professional who may help you improve your muscle strength or balance.4 Primary care provider A family doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant who may be the first healthcare professional you see after you have a seizure. A PCP may refer you to a specialist, such as a neurologist or an epileptologist, to diagnose and treat your epilepsy.4 Psychologist A mental health counselor who may help you manage how epilepsy affects your life.4 Seizure Seizures are strong bursts of electrical activity in the brain.11,14 Temporal lobe The part of your brain on the side of your head (over your ears) that controls hearing. This part of your brain also combines memories with sound, sight, touch, and taste.7,15 Tonic seizure A seizure that causes muscles on both sides of the body to contract strongly and become intensely stiff, usually for less than 20 seconds. The person may fall if standing when the seizure starts.16 Tonic-clonic seizure A seizure that has 2 parts. First, during the tonic part, the muscles of the body contract strongly and may cause the person to fall. Then, during the clonic part, arms and legs jerk in a repeated pattern. A tonic-clonic seizure may last from 1 to 3 minutes.17 Healthcare Lingo (cont)