What Is  Epilepsy
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What Is Epilepsy






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What Is  Epilepsy What Is Epilepsy Presentation Transcript

  • What is Epilepsy? Presented by the Epilepsy Foundation Western/Central PA & Rashida Brookins, RN June 10, 2009
  • Key Epilepsy Statistics
    • About 5 million people in the U.S. have epilepsy- and 350,000 are African American
    • Epilepsy is the third most common neurological disorder behind stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.
    • More people have epilepsy than have Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis combined.
    • African Americans are more likely to be diagnosed with epilepsy than Caucasians.
  • What is a seizure?
    • Your brain cells constantly send tiny electrical signals to the body to tell you to move, think and do things.
    • A seizure happens when brain cells misfire and stop working the way they are supposed to, sending too many electrical signals at one time.
    • These uncontrolled electrical signals cause a change in your awareness, movement or sensation.
  • Facts about Seizures
    • There are more than 20 different kinds of seizures.
    • Some seizures make people shake and have convulsions. Others make people stare into space or act confused.
    • 1 in 10 people will have a seizure in their lifetime.
  • What is Epilepsy?
    • Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain that causes a person to have recurring seizures.
  • Facts about Epilepsy
    • Epilepsy can be caused by anything that damages the brain including head injury, infection, stroke, and brain tumors.
    • In 70% of cases the cause is unknown.
    • Children, teens, and adults of all races and ethnic backgrounds can have epilepsy.
    • Epilepsy can occur at any age.
    • Epilepsy is not hereditary, but genetics sometimes plays a role
  • Myths about Epilepsy
    • It will cause mental retardation
    • Epilepsy is strange
    • It is contagious
    • It is a psychological condition
    • People are born with epilepsy
    • It is a sign of lack of intelligence
  • Types of Seizures
    • Grand Mal
      • Also called Generalized Tonic-Clonic Seizure
    • Absence
      • Also called Petit Mal Seizure
  • Symptom of a Grand Mal Seizure
    • Sudden Cry
    • Fall to the ground
    • Stiffening
    • Shallow breathing
    • Jerking muscles
  • First Aid
    • Generalized Tonic-Clonic
    • Stay calm
    • Track time
    • Cushion head & protect from hazards like nearby furniture
    • Turn person on one side to prevent choking
    • Check for epilepsy or seizure disorder ID
    • Explain to others what is happening
    • Stay until person is fully aware & offer help
      • Speak calmly and ask simple questions until person can answer
  • Symptoms of an Absence (petit mal) Seizure
    • Blank Stare
    • Pause in activity
    • Possible chewing or blinking motion
    • Usually lasts 1-10 seconds
    • May be confused with daydreaming, not paying attention, or ADD
  • First Aid
    • There is no first aid required for an absence seizure, the seizure usually only lasts for a few seconds
  • True or False?
    • People having seizures
    • Can swallow their tongues.
  • Never!
    • Never! Put anything in the person’s mouth
    • Never! Hold down or restrain the person
    • Never! Try to give oral medication
    • Never! Keep the person on their back during a convulsive seizure.
    • Never! Give artificial respiration unless the person stops breathing when the seizure is over.
    • Never! Tease someone who has just had a seizure.
  • Call an Ambulance If:
    • Seizure occurs in a person not known to have seizures.
    • Seizure lasts more than 5 minutes.
    • If another seizure begins before consciousness is regained.
    • Also call if the person:
      • Is injured or pregnant
      • Has diabetes/other medical condition
      • Recovers slowly
      • Does not resume normal breathing
  • Social Issues in Epilepsy
    • Fear and other emotion
    • Relationships
    • Financial costs
    • School
    • Employment
    • Driving
    • Recreational activities
  • Seizures in Later Life: Causes
    • Stroke
    • Brain Tumor
    • Brain Surgery
    • Chronic Alcoholism
    • Infections
    • Cardiovascular Disease
    • Head trauma
    • Alzheimer’s/dementia
    • Toxic/metabolic disturbances
    • Pre-existing conditions
  • Social Issues for Seniors with Epilepsy
    • Loss of self-confidence
    • Embarrassment at effects of seizures
    • Increased dependency
    • Loss of driving privileges
    • Decreased mobility
    • Depression/stigma
    • Loss of independence
  • Epilepsy Foundation Western/Central Pennsylvania
    • We are here to offer support and services if you or a loved one is having seizures:
    • 1-800-361-5885 or www.efwp.org
    • Thank You!!