What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy, also often referred to as a seizure disorder, is a common medical condition which affects the central nervous system. Some people have a single seizure and do not go on to have any more. The diagnosis of epilepsy is made after a person experiences two or more seizures that were not caused by another known medical condition.


What is a Seizure?

Seizures seen in epilepsy are caused by disturbances in the electrical activity of the brain. This change in electrical activity of the brain disrupts normal function and can produce a change in a person’s movement, sensation, behavior or consciousness. The seizures which occur in epilepsy may be related to a brain injury or a family tendency, but most of the time the cause is unknown. There are several different types of seizures which occur and a person with epilepsy may experience more than one type of seizure.


Some Epilepsy Facts

65 MILLION: Number of people around the world who have epilepsy.

3.4 MILLION: Number of people in the United States who have epilepsy. 470,000 of which are children

1 in 1,000 adults and 1 in 4,500 children with epilepsy die from Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP); the risk increases to 1 in 150 for people whose seizures are poorly controlled. 

1 in 100 people are currently living with epilepsy.

1 in 26 people in the United states will develop epilepsy at some point in their lifetime.

BETWEEN 4 and 10 out of 1000:  Number of people on earth who live with active seizures at any one time.

150,000: Number of new cases of epilepsy in the United States each year.

ONE-THIRD: Number of people with epilepsy who live with uncontrollable seizures because no available treatment works for them.

6 OUT OF 10: Number of people with epilepsy where the cause is unknown.