“A very small portion of the population has a condition which may cause them to experience epileptic seizures or have momentary loss of consciousness when viewing certain kinds of flashing lights or patterns that are commonly present in our daily environment. These persons may experience seizures while watching some kinds of television pictures or playing certain video games. Players who have not had any previous seizures may nonetheless have an undetected epileptic condition.”
To all of you gamers out there, this quote probably rings a bell. Epilepsy could very easily be known as a stealth disorder, but it’s difficult to imagine that a so few people can be aware of a disease that affects so many. For example, I bet you didn’t know that Epilepsy is as common as Breast Cancer, and takes just as many lives annually. Every one in ten people suffer from epilepsy, yet the Federal government spends significantly less on Epilepsy research compared to other diseases, many which affect fewer people. The mortality rate among people with Epilepsy is two to three times higher than the general population. Now that you have an overall centralization of Epilepsy facts, does it not seem absurd that the majority of our population does so little to raise awareness of this disease? November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month, and for those who must suffer with the disorder all of their lives, contributing one month of ours per year to show them our understanding and gratitude would surely put a smile on their faces. So in order to change this absurdity, here’s a little 411 on how you can raise awareness on Epilepsy.
Epilepsy is a disorder that is organized by repeated seizures within a short interval of time. Seizures recatalyzed by disorders in the brains electrical system. Anomalous electrical impulses lead to brief loss of control in one’s movement. These impulses are characterized by behavior changes, abnormal physical sensations, and loss of awareness. Anyone who has had more than two seizures in their life is considered to have Epilepsy. There are blank types of seizures; absent, generalized tonic clonic, and partial. Absent seizures occur more often in children aged four to twelve, and are also referred to as staring spells. These seizures result in a daydream like face that last for a few seconds, and the person snaps back into reality as if nothing happened. Generalized tonic clonic seizures are the most recognizable type. The person’s arms and/or legs will become erect, followed by convulsions lasting up to three minutes. Afterwards, confusion and fatigue are most common. This type of seizure occurs in people of all ages, and involves imbalance to both sides of the brain. In partial seizures, one side of the brain is affected, resulting in jerking motions and/or hallucinations. They are conscious of their observers, but not of what they are doing themselves. But how does all of this come to be? What are the causes of Epilepsy? Anything that disrupts the brains original circuitry, such as stroke, oxygen depravation, head injuries, and severe head injury can lead to Epilepsy in the future. Nearly two thirds of people whom suffer with this disorder do not have scientific proof as to how they developed it.
Raising awareness on all the faults and fissures in our universe is far from easy, but not far from impossible. Nearly every major disease has a specialized organization which addresses and aids the affected. The Epilepsy Therapy Project is a project created to provide support to many of those who suffer Epilepsy. This involves overcoming daily challenges with everyday life, advocacy, and proliferating helpful new ideas into therapy. To contribute to the project, visit www.epilepsyfoundation.org. Let’s give back to our community, and make this world grow more together instead of apart.
By: Amy El-Zayaty