What you may not know about epilespy

1. What is Epilepsy?

  • Epilepsy is a neurological disorder in the brain involving a disruption of communication between Neurons, causing seizures to occur.
  • Epilepsy is only diagnosed when at least two unprovoked seizures have occurred more than 24 hours apart from each other.


2. Epilepsy is not a rare disorder.

  • 65 million people the world have Epilepsy.
  • 600,000 or one in every 103 people in the UK has Epilepsy.
  • 3 million US citizens have Epilepsy.
  • 1 in 26 people in the United States will develop epilepsy at some point in their lifetime. Between 4 and 10 out of 1,000 people live with active seizures at any one time.   
  • 5 people out of 100 in the UK will have an epileptic seizure at some point in their lives. 4 of them will develop Epilepsy.


3. 150,000 people in the US and 87 in the UK are diagnosed with Epilepsy every year.


4. Epilepsy is no respecter of persons.

  • Anyone can develop Epilepsy at any time.
  • However, in the US, Epilepsy is more common in people of Hispanic background.
  • People with a lower socioeconomic status have a higher rate of developing Epilepsy.


5. Most people with Epilepsy can do everything that other people can do.

  • However, some people's Epilepsy is so debilitating that they cannot safely work, drive, swim alone, or even take a bath without supervision.


6. Despite the many treatments available, there is no cure for Epilepsy.


7. Despite the many medications and other treatments available to treat seizures, many people live with uncontrolled seizures.

  • There are approximately 1 million people in the US living with uncontrollable Epilepsy.

  • 48% of people with Epilepsy in the UK live with uncontrollable seizures.


8. There are approximately 40 different types of seizures. Seizures can appear differently in different people.

  • Tonic Clonic, Clonic, Complex Partials, Simple Partials, Atonic, Absence, and Myclonic are just a few of the many types.


9. There are many causes of Epilepsy.

  • Strokes, brain injuries, tumors, and illnesses can all trigger seizures and ultimately epilepsy.
  • However, for 6 out of 10 people there is no known cause.


10. You can die from Epilepsy.

  • There is a very serious condition called Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP)
  • SUDEP happens to 1 out of 1000 people with epilepsy each year.
  • For people who suffer with uncontrolled seizures, the risk for SUDEP increases to 1 in 150.
  • 22,000-42,000 people in the US die each year from Status Epilepticus, which is a prolonged seizure, or a seizure that continues despite rescue procedures being administered

Information for this post was taken from:

The Epilepsy Foundation

Epilepsy Action

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