Facts About Epilepsy

Teen related facts


Fact: One in 100 teenagers has it… this means that, if your high school has a 800   in 10th grade, approximately 8 people in your class are in the same boat… give or take a few.  This means that in a 4 year high school… at least one entire classroom full of students in that high school.

Fact: One in ten people will have a seizure in their lifetime… our doctor said you get one get out of jail free pass… one seizure doesn’t mean you have epilepsy… but you might.  One out of three people know someone who has epilepsy.

Fact: It is a disorder of the brain that sometimes makes people have seizures… not a disease and not a psychological disorder.

Fact: It is more common than cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease combined.

Fact: It is not contagious… YOU CANNOT CATCH IT… and you don’t need to be afraid of people who have it.

Fact: It can be caused by anything that injures the brain. In most cases, the cause is unknown.

Fact: Seizures happen when there’s a brief glitch in the brain’s electrical activity.

Fact: There are different kinds of seizures. Some are convulsions. Others make people stare into space or act confused.

Fact: Most seizures are over in seconds or a couple of minutes

Fact: Teens with epilepsy often take daily medication to prevent seizures. Some use other kinds of treatment.

Fact: Some teens with epilepsy have lots of seizures. Some have very few, or none at all.

Fact: 3 million Americans have epilepsy, 50 million people world wide.  200,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.

Fact: Epilepsy strikes most often among the very young and the very old.

Epilepsy is a disorder that briefly interrupts the normal electrical activity of the brain.  When someone experiences a seizure the sudden change in electrical activity may alter the way everything looks, it can cause involuntary body movements or even convulsions.

More than one of every three persons with epilepsy are also affected by depression, and, people with a history of depression have a 3 to 7 times higher risk of developing epilepsy.

Although in many cases, epilepsy can be connected to ad injuries, strokes, brain tumors, infections such as meningitis, lead poisoning or injury during childbirth.  In 70% of the cases, the cause of epilepsy are unknown.   Genetics is assumed to play a role when no specific cause can be identified.

epilepsy has no identifiable or consistent “triggers” which can bring on a seizure. However, some environmental and internal factors that may initiate seizures in a susceptible person include:

  • alcohol
  • strong emotion
  • intense exercise
  • flashing lights or loud music
  • illness or fever
  • lack of sleep
  • stress
  • menstrual period
  • hormonal changes
  • drug use
  • missed medication
  • poor nutrition
  • emotional stress
  • extreme fatigue
  • low blood sugar

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