Epilepsy is a disorder of brain function that causes recurrent seizures (convulsions). Seizures are due to abnormal bursts of electrical activity in the brain that can affect consciousness, movement, vision, behavior, or speech. Individuals with epilepsy are usually treated by a neurologist (physician specializing in brain and nervous system disorders) who often prescribes medications to control the seizures. Sometimes several different medications need to be tried alone or in combination in order to control seizures. If the seizures are not controlled with 3 anticonvulsant drugs, the seizures are considered intractable (persisting despite treatment) and surgery should be considered. Surgery is most often successful for people who have a specific area of the brain identified as the focus for their seizures. The December 3, 2008, issue of JAMA includes 2 articles about surgical treatment of intractable seizures.