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Epilepsy: Just The Facts

Epilepsy is due to bursts of excessive electrical activity within the brain.

Having epilepsy means that you have a tendency to have epileptic seizures. This is where electrical activity is happening in the brain all of the time.

A seizure happens when there’s a sudden burst of intense electrical activity in the brain. This activity causes a temporary disruption to the way that the brain normally works. Put simply, the brain’s messages become mixed up. How the body responds during a seizure, all depends where in the brain the activity begins and how widely and quickly it spreads.

6 Epilepsy Facts

  1. Epilepsy is not always a lifelong condition.
    Doctors may consider you don’t have epilepsy if you have been seizure free for a long enough period of time.
  2. There is no test that can prove if you have epilepsy or not.
    Tests such as EEG’s (electroencephalogram) record brain wave patterns. A diagnosis of epilepsy should be made by a doctor with special training in epilepsy.
  3.  There are many types of epilepsy.
    Some start when you’re young, others in later life. Sometimes the reason for epilepsy developing is clear for example a severe head injury or an infection to the brain, such as meningitis, sometimes it is less clear. For many people it’s a part of the way they’re made.
  4. Around 444,000 people in the UK have epilepsy.
    That means every 1 in every 133 of the population.
  5. Epilepsy most commonly occurs before the age of 20 and after 45.
  6. Keep on having fun!
    Having epilepsy doesn’t mean than you have to stop doing all the things you enjoy. Understanding your body, your condition and your medication, is important so that you can manage your epilepsy. Then you can get on with doing the fun and fulfilling things that make life so much fun!

How to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your public health nurse.

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