Did you know that epilepsy is the third most common neurological disorder after stroke and Alzheimer’s disease, affecting more than three million Americans of all ages? One in 10 Americans will experience a seizure at some point in their lives,according to the Epilepsy Foundation, and 3 percent will eventually develop epilepsy.Here are other facts related to epilepsy:
- Epilepsy is a generic term for a variety of seizure disorders. A person with recurring seizures is said to have epilepsy, which is a brief disturbance in the electrical activity of the brain
- Epilepsy is usually diagnosed after a person has had two seizures not caused by some known medical condition. Moreover,epilepsy is not contagious, is not a mental illness and is not a developmental disability. It is usually diagnosed with a medical history,neurological examination, blood work, electroencephalograph (EEG)and/or CT, MRI or PET scans of brain
- More than half the time, the cause of epilepsy is unknown.When a cause is found, it is often due to head injury, a brain infection,stroke, brain tumor, Alzheimer’s disease, malformation of an area of the brain and/or genetic factors.
- First aid for epilepsy is simple, as the goal is to keep the person safe until the seizure stops naturally by itself. The key things to remember when providing seizure first aid include
Keep calm and reassure other people who may be nearby
Don’t hold the person down or try to stop his or her movements
Time the seizure with your watch.• Clear the area around the person of anything hard or sharp.• Loosen ties or anything around the neck that may make breathing difficult.• Put something flat and soft, like a folded jacket, under the head.• Turn him or her gently onto one side. This will help keep the airway clear.• Call for emergency medical help when a seizure lasts 5 minutes orlonger or when one seizure occurs right after another without theperson regaining consciousness or coming to between seizures.5. Epilepsy is treated with anti-seizure medications. At times, depending on type ofseizures, surgery, Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS), responsive neurostimulation(RNS) and dietary therapies, like ketogenic diets, may be used.Learn more about epilepsy, seizures, and seizure