- More Americans, young and old alike, suffer from epilepsy than Americans
with Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and muscular
dystrophy ... combined.
- Epilepsy, from the Greek word meaning “to seize,” is a
neurological disorder that affects more than 2.5 million Americans.
- Epilepsy is not a disease, a form of mental illness, or a sign of low
intelligence. It is not contagious.
- Epilepsy can affect anyone, at any age, at any time. Often seizures first
develop during the pre-school and elementary school years.
- Usually, a seizure lasts between a few seconds and a few minutes.
- Never place an object in the mouth of a person having a seizure.
- Many people with epilepsy can achieve control of the seizures.
- In 70% of cases, the cause of epilepsy is unknown. Head trauma,
infections or a neurological disorder can be involved. Sometimes, heredity also
plays a role.
- Epilepsy usually can be treated effectively, most often with medications and
sometimes with special diets or surgery.
- People having seizures cannot swallow their tongues.