Affecting approximately 2 million people in the U.S., epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disease across the country. One major problem is that delayed recognition of the seizures and lack of proper treatment increases the risk for additional seizures which can result in disability, lower quality of life, and in some cases death.
Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain that affects the nervous system and causes recurrent or unprovoked seizures. Symptoms vary per person but include confusion, loss of consciousness, uncontrollable body movements and staring spells. Unfortunately, the cause of epilepsy is unknown in almost half of its cases but the four most common causes are:
- Brain tumor
- Head Trauma
- Brain Infection
Most people know very little about the disease and have no idea that it can occur at any age making November a great time to increase public knowledge. Epilepsy is more likely to begin in children younger than 2 years of age and older adults more than 65 years old. Like many individuals who live with chronic disorders, people with epilepsy usually face challenges managing treatment, symptoms, lifestyle limits, disability, stress and stigma.