Epilepsy

  • Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder and affects people of all ages
  • Epilepsy means the same thing as "seizure disorders"
  • Treatment can help, but this condition can't be cured
  • A person is diagnosed with epilepsy if they have one or more seizures that were not caused by some known and reversible medical condition like alcohol withdrawal or extremely low blood sugar
  • The seizures in epilepsy may be related to a brain injury or a family tendency, but often the cause is completely unknown

Prevention

Since the cause of epilepsy is often not clear, it generally is not possible to prevent it.

  • Wear your seat belt in the car
  • Wear a helmet when riding a bike or motorcycle, skiing, and skating

Statistics

  • 65 million people around the world have epilepsy
  • 3 million people in the U.S. have epilepsy
  • 1 in 26 people in the United States will develop epilepsy at some point in their lifetime
  • 1/3 of people with epilepsy live with uncontrollable seizures because no available treatment works for them

Signs and Symptoms

  • Short attention blackouts, dazed behavior, memory gaps, mumbling or no response
  • Sudden falls, frequent stumbling or unusual clumsiness
  • Repeated, unusual movements such as head nodding or rapid blinking
  • Sudden stomach pain followed by confusion and sleepiness
  • Unusual sleepiness and irritability when woken up
  • Frequent complaints that things look, sound, taste, smell or feel "funny"
  • Sudden, repeated fear or anger
  • Clusters of (repeated) "jackknife" movements by babies who are sitting down
  • Clusters of grabbing movements with both arms in babies lying on their backs

For more information go to www.epilepsy.com

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