When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, they have epilepsy. This disorder affects nearly 3 million people in the United States, making it the fourth most common neurological condition. It is more prevalent than cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and autism combined. This year, another 150,000 people in our country will be diagnosed. Despite all available treatments, four of 10 people with epilepsy continue to experience uncontrolled seizures, and many more fail to achieve optimal seizure control.
Epileptic seizures may be caused by a number of factors, such as brain injury, infection, or a family (genetic) tendency. Most of the time, however, the cause is unknown.
Treatment typically includes prescription medications to eliminate seizures or decrease their frequency and severity. Long-term anticonvulsant drug therapy is the most common form of treatment. About 85 percent of all seizure disorders can be partially or completely controlled if the patient takes anti-seizure medication according to directions; avoids seizure-inducing sights, sounds, and other triggers; gets enough sleep; and eats regular, balanced meals.
Spreading the word about epilepsy
The Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York has designated November as Epilepsy Awareness Month and accordingly launched its #DareTo campaign to help the general public better understand epilepsy, know how to recognize seizures, and learn proper first aid. For people living with epilepsy, #DareTo focuses on improving seizure management and exploring the best available treatment options. The campaign underscores the foundation’s commitment to accelerating change for people living with epilepsy.
More about the foundation
The Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York has led the fight against seizures for more than 30 years and works to ensure that people with epilepsy have the opportunity to live life to the fullest potential. The foundation provides education and first-aid training for school employees, businesses, and first responders. It also offers advocacy, counseling, support groups, and case management for individuals and families impacted by epilepsy and seizures.
The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is three-fold:
- Stop seizures and sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP).
- Find a cure.
- Overcome the challenges created by epilepsy through education, advocacy, and research to accelerate ideas into therapies.
If you or someone you know has epilepsy and needs guidance, please call the Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York at (518) 456-7501 or 1-800-894-3223. You can also find them on Facebook if you’d like to connect with others and stay up to date with announcements, conferences, and special events.
CDPHP® can also help
CDPHP has programs in place to help members who are dealing with epilepsy and their caregivers. Our Health Coach ConnectionSM program puts you in touch with a health care professional, such as a nurse, who will provide guidance and support. Additionally, our case management department can answer your questions and work with your doctor to help ensure you get the care you need.