Epilepsy Awareness Epilepsy Awareness
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Epilepsy, which currently affects about 2.5 million persons in the U.S., is characterized by recurrent, unprovoked seizures. Although epilepsy can occur at any age, the condition is more likely to begin in childhood or older adulthood. The number of cases is increasing as the US population ages.
November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month. Epilepsy, which currently affects approximately 2.5 million persons in the United States, is characterized by recurrent, unprovoked seizures. Delayed recognition of these seizures and subsequent inadequate treatment increases the risk for additional seizures, disability, decreased health-related quality of life, and, in rare instances, death.
Although epilepsy can occur at any age, the condition is more likely to begin in childhood or older adulthood. The number of cases among older adults is increasing as the US population ages. For people with epilepsy, everyday activities such as driving and working are often issues of concern and may require special considerations. Despite the difficulties of living with epilepsy, many people with this disorder lead full, productive lives.
The Epilepsy Foundation, in partnership with CDC, is continuing a multiyear national campaign to use public education and programs that foster community awareness to improve the health care and community support available to persons affected by epilepsy. The goal of this year’s campaign, entitled No More Seizures, is to increase the number of persons with epilepsy who can achieve optimum control of their condition (i.e., no seizures or treatment side effects). To achieve this goal, basic education and empowerment messages have been developed to encourage persons with epilepsy to learn about new treatments, seek the care of specialists trained in epilepsy care, and discuss the management of their condition with their doctors. In addition, persons who have experienced seizures can access a new Web site* to partner with the Epilepsy Foundation and others in managing their treatment for the condition.
Other campaign activities include school-based health-education programs, community workshops for diverse audiences, and training for older adults and their caregivers. In addition, the Epilepsy Foundation has developed pilot curricula for police and emergency response personnel to increase recognition and appropriate management of persons who are having seizures.