Epilepsy is a neurological disease that causes people to have recurrent seizures.

 

What is epilepsy?         

Epilepsy is a neurological disease that causes people to have recurrent seizures. A seizure is a brief disruption of electrical activity in the brain.

• Epilepsy is not contagious.

• Epilepsy is not a mental illness.

• Epilepsy is not a developmental disability.

 

What causes epilepsy?

More than half the time, the cause is unknown. When a cause can be found, it is most often one of these:

• Head injury

• Infection of the brain

• Stroke

• Brain tumor

• Alzheimer’s disease

• Genetic factors

 

Who has epilepsy?

One in 26 people will develop epilepsy at some point in their life. Epilepsy doesn’t discriminate. If affects children and adults, men and women. While epilepsy is most often diagnosed either in childhood or after the age of 65, it can occur at any age.

 

How is epilepsy diagnosed?

Medical history, neurological examination, blood work, and other tests are important in diagnosing epilepsy. Eyewitness accounts of a person’s seizures are very important in helping determine the type of seizure a person has. An electroencephalograph (EEG) is a commonly used test to help diagnose seizures; it records the brain’s electrical activity during the test. In some situations, CT scans and MRIs may be used to look at the internal structure and function of the brain.

 

How is epilepsy treated?

Medication – Drugs used to treat epilepsy are called anti-seizure medication.  About 7 in 10 people achieve good seizure control on one or more of these medications. Other treatments are available if medicines don’t work.

 

Facts about epilepsy

- One can’t swallow his tongue during a seizure. It's physically impossible.

- DON'T restrain someone having a seizure. Most seizures end in seconds or a few minutes and will end on their own. You can protect the person from injury by following simple first aid steps.

- People with epilepsy can handle jobs with responsibility and stress.

- Epilepsy is NOT rare.

- What happens in a seizure may look different from one person to another.

 

Reference: Epilepsy Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.epilepsy.com

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