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What Is  Epilepsy
What Is  Epilepsy
What Is  Epilepsy
What Is  Epilepsy
What Is  Epilepsy
What Is  Epilepsy
What Is  Epilepsy
What Is  Epilepsy
What Is  Epilepsy
What Is  Epilepsy
What Is  Epilepsy
What Is  Epilepsy
What Is  Epilepsy
What Is  Epilepsy
What Is  Epilepsy
What Is  Epilepsy
What Is  Epilepsy
What Is  Epilepsy
What Is  Epilepsy
What Is  Epilepsy
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What Is Epilepsy


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  • 1. What is Epilepsy? Presented by the Epilepsy Foundation Western/Central PA & Rashida Brookins, RN June 10, 2009
  • 2. 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.
  • 3. 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.
  • 4.  
  • 5. 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.
  • 6. What is Epilepsy?
    • Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain that causes a person to have recurring seizures.
  • 7. 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
  • 8. 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
  • 9. Types of Seizures
    • Grand Mal
      • Also called Generalized Tonic-Clonic Seizure
    • Absence
      • Also called Petit Mal Seizure
  • 10. Symptom of a Grand Mal Seizure
    • Sudden Cry
    • Fall to the ground
    • Stiffening
    • Shallow breathing
    • Jerking muscles
  • 11. 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
  • 12. 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
  • 13. First Aid
    • There is no first aid required for an absence seizure, the seizure usually only lasts for a few seconds
  • 14. True or False?
    • People having seizures
    • Can swallow their tongues.
  • 15. 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.
  • 16. 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
  • 17. Social Issues in Epilepsy
    • Fear and other emotion
    • Relationships
    • Financial costs
    • School
    • Employment
    • Driving
    • Recreational activities
  • 18. 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
  • 19. 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
  • 20. 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
    • Thank You!!