Epilepsy

What is epilepsy?

“Epilepsy is a condition that affects the brain. When someone has epilepsy, it means they have a tendency to have epileptic seizures.

Anyone can have a one-off seizure, but this doesn’t always mean they have epilepsy. Epilepsy is usually only diagnosed if someone has had more than one seizure, and doctors think it is likely they could have more.

Epilepsy can start at any age and there are many different types. Some types of epilepsy last for a limited time and the person eventually stops having seizures. But for many people epilepsy is a life-long condition. "(Epilepsy Action, 2018)"

What are epileptic seizures?

“Electrical activity is happening in our brain all the time, as the cells in the brain send messages to each other. A seizure happens when there is a sudden burst of intense electrical activity in the brain. This causes a temporary disruption to the way the brain normally works. The result is an epileptic seizure.

There are many different types of seizure. What happens to someone during a seizure depends on which part of their brain is affected. During some types of seizure the person may remain alert and aware of what’s going on around them, and with other types they may lose awareness. They may have unusual sensations, feelings or movements. Or they may go stiff, fall to the floor and jerk. "(Epilepsy Action, 2018)

How common is epilepsy?

Statistics vary from country to country – e.g. in the UK 1 in 103 people have epilepsy. In Australia it is 3.5 in 100. Given that many people are not yet diagnosed with epilepsy, we suggest that the figure may be closer to 3.5%.


First Aid

Because we are not doctors or nurses, we advise that you visit the Epilepsy Action UK website, which has a full explanation of how you should act when a person has a seizure.


Family

It’s important for family to get support when their child, sibling, parent or carer develops epilepsy. You are not alone.

There are Epilepsy Action support groups in the UK which can be particularly helpful for adults (you don’t have to have epilepsy yourself to attend!) and there sources of information available for those in the UK here.


SUDEP

SUDEP stands for Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy and there are at least 3 epilepsy-related deaths each day in the UK alone.

For further information regarding SUDEP, please visit SUDEP Action.


Employers

A huge number of those with epilepsy are in employment (including our founder Torie Robinson) and employers are often worried about what they should do if an employee has a seizure, worried about upsetting the person, worried about talking to them, etc.. There is a solution!

  • Epilepsy Action has Accredited Volunteers who come to your workplace and provide training on epilepsy for a small fee (covering costs).

  • Torie Robinson is a international, motivational and educational corporate speaker when it comes to epilepsy and disability. Go to her website to "learn more"

Sponsorship/Advertising

Is your firm looking to sponsor a worthwhile organisation that makes a difference? Would you like to place advertising for your service/produce on our website?  Contact us to discuss.