Across the world, it’s estimated that 65million people have epilepsy – meaning it’s one of the most common neurological diseases.

An estimated 5million people receive a diagnosis each year, and the right medication can help around 70% live seizure-free.

What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a brain disorder where people have recurring, unprovoked seizures. Not every person who has a seizure will have epilepsy, but a diagnosis is normally made when someone has multiple or at high risk of more.

During a seizure, abnormal electrical discharges happen in the brain which cause sudden, temporary changes in movement, behaviour, sensation or state of awareness. Symptoms are not always the same, depending on which part of the brain the electrical activity takes place in.

What causes epilepsy?

The cause is unknown in around 50% of cases, but in the other half, the causes can be structural, genetic, infectious, metabolic or immune.

Examples of causes include:

  • Brain damage either pre-natal or peri-natal, including a loss of oxygen, trauma during birth, or low birth weight
  • Congenital abnormalities or genetic conditions
  • A severe head injury
  • A stroke which restricts the amount of oxygen to the brain
  • An infection such as meningitis or encephalitis
  • Certain genetic syndromes
  • A brain tumour

Common seizure triggers

There are many factors which can trigger a seizure for someone with epilepsy, including:

  • Stress or tiredness
  • Missing medications
  • Alcohol
  • Flashing lights
  • Nutritional issues
  • Illness or infection
  • Weather changes

How to help someone having a seizure

There are many things you can do if someone is having a seizure, even if you’re not medically trained. Moving away any people or hard/sharp objects from the person can help keep them and others safe.

If possible, time the length of the seizure, and place the person on their side – but don’t try and hold them down or stop their movements.

In addition, you shouldn’t put anything in their mouth in case it damages their teeth or causes them to bite you.

If someone you know has epilepsy, try and educate yourself about the condition and attend appointments with them if possible. Reminding them to take their anti-seizure medication and being a listening ear are also essential.

If you’d like to speak to us about the support we can provide if you or a loved one has epilepsy, do get in touch today.

Open WhatsApp
Hello 👋
Please press the button below to send us a WhatsApp message!