Epilepsy Foundation Sheds Light On Seizures
The Epilepsy Foundation released important information about epilepsy and seizure disorders to dispel prevalent myths in the wake of recent news about Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass).
Senator Kennedy, 76, one of the longest-serving members of the U. S. Senate, reportedly experienced a seizure on Saturday. A seizure is a disturbance in the electrical activity in the brain. One in ten Americans will have a single seizure at some point in their lives. A person who has two or more seizures from an unknown cause is said to have epilepsy. More than 3 million Americans have epilepsy. Although epilepsy can strike anyone, of any background at any time, it primarily affects the very young and the very old.
"The occurrence of new onset seizures in adults is quite common," said Page B. Pennell, MD, Chair-elect of the Epilepsy Foundation's Professional Advisory Board. "And such an occurrence is even more likely after the age of 60."
Epilepsy comprises a family of more than 40 syndromes; it is third most common neurological disorder in the United States after Alzheimer's disease and stroke. There is no known cause for 70 percent of all the cases of epilepsy and large numbers of people live with undiagnosed or untreated epilepsy.