As an epilepsy advocate, you’re going to interact with a lot of people and that’s great! But there are so many sources of information out there that it’s easy to get facts confused. Here’s a list of key talking points and statistics (provided by the Center for Disease Control) to use when spreading awareness:
Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes seizures. Seizures are abnormal activity in the brain. These seizures are not caused by a temporary or underlying medical condition such as a high fever or extremely low blood sugar. An individual is diagnosed with epilepsy when they have had two or more unprovoked seizures OR one seizure with the likelihood of having more.
~200,000 new cases of epilepsy are diagnosed each year in the U.S., and 3.4 million Americans are living with active epilepsy. This means they are currently diagnosed and taking medication to control seizures and/or had one or more seizure in the past year.
110,000 people in eastern PA are currently living with epilepsy.
Over a lifetime, 1 in 10 people will have a seizure.
1 in 26 people will have epilepsy at some point in their lifetime, meaning they will be diagnosed, but may find medication or treatment to control it.
There are many different kinds of seizures that can present in all different types of ways. Some seizures may look like a staring spell while other seizures can cause a person to mumble, chew or smack their gums. Some seizures may cause a person to wander or be unaware of their surroundings, while others may cause a person to collapse or shake. Some seizures only occur when an individual is sleeping and are referred to as nocturnal seizures.
Seizures may last only a few seconds or up to a few minutes.
1/3 of people diagnosed with epilepsy live with uncontrolled seizures because there are no available treatments or medications that work for them.
There is no cure for epilepsy but there are a wide range of treatments. Treatments for epilepsy vary and include medicine, surgery, special diets, medical implants and devices.