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Epilepsy has been recognized for more than 2,000 years, but it was known for a long period of time as the "falling sickness" because those suffering from characteristic attacks or seizures usually fell to the ground suddenly. Though it can be severe and debilitating at times, epilepsy does not necessarily preclude individuals from leading very productive lives, and a number of extremely successful people, such as Julius Caesar, Socrates, Lord Byron, and Vincent van Gogh, have been afflicted with the condition.

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