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10 Things you should know about Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological condition that causes recurrent seizures.

Seizures can be a devastating, life challenging condition, however there are many misconceptions about epilepsy.

here are 10 things you should know about epilepsy.

1. Seizures are more than just physical

Many people think of seizures as just convulsions. Epileptic patients also have symptoms of sensory perception. People may have a feeling of de ja vu, vision changes or become overcome by psychological feelings.

2. Seizures knows no age

Seizures are not just for kids. They can occur at any age.

3. Seizures can be a medical emergency

If you see someone having a seizure greater than 5 min or not breathing, call 911 for help.  DO NOT put anything in the person’s mouth.

4. Surgical Treatment can be an option

For some people with epilepsy, surgery can help decrease or eliminate the occurrence of seizures

5. There are reliable resources for information about Epilepsy

For help and information about seizure disorder and treatment options, contact Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan at

6. Blink and you’ll miss it

Some seizures may last just a few seconds and can consist of just a brief stare or quick twitch.

7. Medication can help

Currently there are 20 medications available that help manage epilepsy and more are on the way.

8. The cause may be difficult to find

Seizures can occur from head injury, infections such as meningitis, high fever, low blood sugar, or some can have no known origin.

9. An Epileptologist is a specialist that treats seizure disorders

Epilepsy monitoring units are available to evaluate and classify seizure types so that the epileptologist can properly treat their patients.

10. You are not alone

More than 3 million Americans have seizures.

How brain surgery can prevent seizures

30-40 percent of patients respond well to medication. However in some people, brain surgery might be more beneficial. Please take a few minutes to view how brain surgery helped a young lady suffering from epilepsy.

Chaim Colen, MD, PhD, is the director of neurosurgical oncology and epilepsy surgery at Beaumont Hospital in Grosse Pointe, Mich. Dr. Colen’s medical publishing company, Colen Publishing,  produces patient and resident educational material and operative dictation templates for EMR systems. He is the current chair of the Young Physicians Representative Section of the CSNS and actively involved in socioeconomics in neurosurgery.

Follow Dr. Colen on Twitter: @MyNeurosurgeon

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Written on May 29, 2012 by: