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What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a central nervous system (neurological) disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal circuit activity, causing seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations, and sometimes loss of awareness.

 

Seizure symptoms can vary widely. Some people with epilepsy simply stare blankly for a few seconds during a seizure, while others repeatedly go into a full body shock where they twitch their arms or legs.

SEIZURE SAFETY STEPS
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STEP 1

- Do not panic

- Stay with the person

- Time the duration of the Seizure

- Let seizure run its course

- Call 911

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STEP 2

- Turn them on their side & move any harmful objects out of the way

- Cushion their head with something soft

- Guide them away from danger (focal seizures)

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STEP 3

-Do NOT put anything in their mouth or try to restrain them

- Stay by their side until they are awake and alert

- After seizure, put them in recovery position (if they are on the floor)

How does one get epilepsy?

Any event ranging from faulty wiring during brain development, brain inflammation, physical injury, or infection can lead to seizures and epilepsy.

Types of Seizures

  • Generalized Seizures- effect both sides of the brain

  • Grand Mal/ Tonic Clonic- loss of conscious, loss of body control, jerking, eyes rolling back, foaming at the mouth

  • Focal Onset/ Simple Seizures- twitching or a change in sensation, such as a strange taste or smell.

  • Complex Focal-The person will be unable to respond to questions or direction for up to a few minutes.

  • Absence- Absence seizures involve brief, sudden lapses of consciousness.

Facts

  • 65 million people world wide have epilepsy 

  • 150,000 New cases of epilepsy are reported 

  • each year in the U.S.
  • Around 87 people are diagnosed with epilepsy everday
  • Epilepsy can start at any age, but is most commonly diagnosed in people under 20 and people over 65.

  • This is because some causes are more common in young people (such as difficulties at their birth, childhood infections or accidents) and in older people (such as strokes that lead to epilepsy)

For more information head to the National Epilepsy Foundation