It's An Equal Opportunity Disorder
Epilepsy can affect anyone at any age from any walk of life. At present, nearly 2.7 million Americans of all ages have epilepsy and seizures.
For many, seizures first appear during childhood. More than 300,000 children, aged 14 and under, have epilepsy. However, epilepsy is not an affliction confined to the young. Senior citizens are increasingly being diagnosed with epilepsy/seizure disorders.
Approximately 61,000 new cases of epilepsy occur each year in the elderly population.
In some instances, epilepsy develops for obvious reasons - head trauma, a stroke, or an infection involving the central nervous system. For many others, there is no known cause, and sometimes epilepsy/seizure disorders just run in the family.
How People Regain Control
The majority of people with epilepsy are able to control their disorder successfully by taking daily anti-epileptic drugs (AED's). Approximately 80 percent gain control from their seizures with medication. For those who do not achieve control with drug therapy, other options are available including vagus nerve stimulation, surgery and the Ketogenic Diet.
People With Epilepsy are Just like Everyone Else...Almost
Most people who have epilepsy, a neurological disorder, are much like everyone else - they lead active, productive lives. The only difference is they have a tendency to have recurrent seizures. A seizure is a brief episode of electrical disturbance in the brain which affects the brain?s normal functions. During a seizure, a person?s movement, behavior, or consciousness may be changed. A person may lose consciousness, stare or have random movements. Seizures usually last a matter of seconds or minutes, after which the brain cells return to normal. Fortunately, for many, seizures are infrequent.
Epilepsy is what you have, not what you are.