1. Seizures are more than just physical
Many people think of seizures as just convulsions. Epileptic patients also have symptoms of sensory perception. People may have a feeling of de ja vu, vision changes or become overcome by psychological feelings.
2. Seizures knows no age
Seizures are not just for kids. They can occur at any age.
3. Seizures can be a medical emergency
If you see someone having a seizure greater than 5 min or not breathing, call 911 for help. DO NOT put anything in the person’s mouth.
4. Surgical Treatment can be an option
For some people with epilepsy, surgery can help decrease or eliminate the occurrence of seizures
5. There are reliable resources for information about Epilepsy
For help and information about seizure disorder and treatment options, contact Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan at www.epilepsymichigan.org
6. Blink and you’ll miss it
Some seizures may last just a few seconds and can consist of just a brief stare or quick twitch.
7. Medication can help
Currently there are 20 medications available that help manage epilepsy and more are on the way.
8. The cause may be difficult to find
Seizures can occur from head injury, infections such as meningitis, high fever, low blood sugar, or some can have no known origin.
9. An Epileptologist is a specialist that treats seizure disorders
Epilepsy monitoring units are available to evaluate and classify seizure types so that the epileptologist can properly treat their patients.
10. You are not alone
More than 3 million Americans have seizures.
1. The word ‘epilepsy’ comes from the Ancient Greek word ἐεπιλαμβάνειν which means “to seize, possess, or afflict”
2. The oldest known detailed record of the condition itself is in the Sakikku, a Babylonian cuneiform medical text from 1067–1046 BC. This text gives signs and symptoms, details treatment and likely outcomes, and describes many features of the different seizure types.
3. The first drug to be made using a 3D printer was levetiracetam
4. St Valentine is the patron saint of people with epilepsy.
5. Jane Austen had a brother called George who had epilepsy, learning difficulties, and was probably deaf.
6. Seizure triggers can range from sunlight through the trees, to cigarette smoke, to stress.
7. Kelly Osbourne, Susan Boyle and Prince are just a few celebrities who have epilepsy.
8. It has been speculated that historical figures including Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Vladimir Lenin and Harriet Tubman had epilepsy
9. Any organism with a brain can develop epilepsy
10. Dogs can be trained to detect and predict epileptic seizures
11. The hippocampus is an area in the temporal lobes of the brain which is involved in controlling emotion and instinct. The area is called hippocampus because it is shaped a bit like a seahorse and ‘hippocampus’ is Greek for seahorse. The hippocampus is the site of the epileptic focus in some people with epilepsy, so for many years, the seahorse was the symbol of Epilepsy Society.
12. Purple is the colour of epilepsy which is why Cassidy Megan, a young girl with epilepsy from Nova Scotia, Canada created Purple Day. Lavender is recognised as the international flower of epilepsy. The flower is said to symbolise isolation and loneliness, often associated with epilepsy. Interestingly, pure, essential lavender oils are thought to have a relaxing effect on the body and brain and may help to reduce seizures. Spike lavender, however, should be avoided as it may trigger seizures.