What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a condition in which brain cells suddenly release an unusually large burst of electrical energy.  These bursts of electrical energy are commonly known as seizures.  Depending on whether all or part of the brain is involved, a variety of different seizure types can result.


About one in 10 people have epilepsy.  In most cases of epilepsy, it is difficult to pinpoint a specific cause, but head injuries, brain tumors, strokes, certain viral infections, and pre-natal or birth difficulty can increase the risk of developing seizures.


Medical treatment for epilepsy has improved to the point that about 75 percent of people diagnosed can have their seizures either reduced or eliminated entirely.  The most common prescribed form of treatment is daily medication.  In some cases, brain surgery can be performed if seizure activity is confined to a limited area of the brain which can be safely removed without impacting personality or function.  For some children, a high fat, high calorie diet, known as the ketogenic diet, has been successful when medications have failed.


If you would like more information about epilepsy, contact the Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan at 248-351-7979 or visit them online at www.epilepsymichigan.org.


Phone code: 1707

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