Epilepsy affects approximately 65 million people worldwide — with one in 26 Americans developing the disorder at some point in their lifetime, according to NIH. While there’s no cure for epilepsy, the common neurological disorder can sometimes get better over time with proper epilepsy treatment.
In honor of National Epilepsy Month — which aims to promote awareness and raise funds for research — here are the important facts about the condition and how those living with epilepsy are affected.
What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a group of neurological disorders characterized by recurrent seizures caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain, according to The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). There are many different types of epileptic seizures, which may cause anything from convulsions, muscle spasms, brief or prolonged loss of consciousness and strange sensations and emotions. When a person has had two or more seizures which have not been provoked by specific events, they are considered to have epilepsy.
Epilepsy causes vary from person to person and frequently stems from a disease, a genetic predisposition to the disorder or a brain injury caused by a stroke, tumor, hemorrhage, infection or other injury. Yet in some patients with no family history of epilepsy or known bodily trauma, the disorder’s origin can be a mystery.
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