36 Epilepsy Facts You Should Know

Epilepsy is a disorder of the central nervous system often caused by abnormal electrical discharges that develop into seizures. The following are additional facts on epilepsy and seizures:

  1. More people live with epilepsy than autism, spectrum disorders, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy combined.
  2. You can’t swallow your tongue during a seizure. It is physically impossible.
  3. You should never force something into the mouth of someone having a seizure.
  4. Don’t restrain someone having a seizure.
  5. Epilepsy is not contagious .
  6. Anyone can develop epilepsy.
  7. Epilepsy is not rare.
  8. 1 in 26 Americans will develop epilepsy in their lifetime.
  9. An estimated 3 million Americans and 65 million people worldwide live with epilepsy.
  10. In 2/3 of patients diagnosed with epilepsy, the cause is unknown.
  11. Up to 50,000 deaths occur annually in the U.S. from status epilepticus (prolonged seizures). (SUDEP) and other seizure-related causes such as drowning and other accidents.
  12. Between 4 and 10 out of 1,000 people on earth live with active seizures.
  13. 3.4 million people in the United States have epilepsy.
  14. Epilepsy is not contagious
  15. 1/3 of people diagnosed with epilepsy have uncontrolled seizures because the available treatment does not work.
  16. SUDEP accounts for 34% of all sudden deaths in children.
  17. Epilepsy costs the U.S. approximately 15.5 billion each year.
  18. A seizure is a transient disruption of brain function due to abnormal and excessive electrical discharges in brain cells.
  19. Epilepsy is a disease of the brain that predisposes a person to excessive electrical discharges in the brain cell.
  20. It is diagnosed when 2 or more unprovoked seizures have occurred.
  21. It must be at least 2 unprovoked seizures more than 24 hours apart.
  22. About 14% have simple partial seizures.
  23. 36% have complex partial seizures.
  24. 5% have tonic-clonic seizures.
  25. Seizures can be caused by head trauma, stokes, brain tumor and a brain infection.
  26. Causes are unknown in 60 to 70% of cases.
  27. The prevalence is 1% of the U.S. population.
  28. Approximately 2.2 to 3 million in the U.S. have seizures.
  29. It affects all ages, socioeconomic and racial groups.
  30. Incidents are higher in children and older adults.
  31. Seizures can range from momentarily blanks to loss of awareness
  32. Almost 150,000 people in the U.S. develop epilepsy every year.
  33. No gender is likely to develop than others.
  34. 1/3 of individuals with autism spectrum disorders also have epilepsy.
  35. The prevalence of epilepsy in people with an intellectual disability is higher than the general population.
  36. It takes up to 5 times more energy for a person with epilepsy to complete even the most simple task.