A new report released by the United States’ Center for Disease Control and Prevention showed that at least 3 million adults and 470,000 children. Epilepsy is a dangerous brain disorder that is characterized by uncontrollable and violent seizures.
Some of its known causes include brain damage, stroke, head injury, genetics and central nervous system infections.
The report confirmed beliefs that epilepsy incidence in the country is on the rise. From 450,000 in 2007, an estimated 470,000 children are now suffering from epilepsy in the US. On the other hand, the number of adults with epilepsy has increased by 700,000 in just five years.
The CD C gathered the data from national and state-specific reports. The experts suggest that the news may not entirely be negative as the increase could have been brought about by better testing methods and data gathering.
“Millions of Americans are impacted by epilepsy, and unfortunately, this study shows cases are on the rise,” said Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., CDC’s Director. “Proper diagnosis is key to finding an effective treatment – and at CDC we are committed to researching, testing, and sharing strategies that will improve the lives of people with epilepsy.”
Epileptic patients often have struggled in socializing and doing what would be simple physical activities to most people. They also have trouble performing their jobs, difficulty in finding transportation, and worse, afford medical care.
“Epilepsy is common, complex to live with, and costly. It can lead to early death if not appropriately treated,” said the head of CDC’s Epilepsy Program, Rosemarie Kobau, M.P.H. “Everyone should know how to recognize a seizure and how to give appropriate first aid.”
Epileptic patients are advised to consult a neurologist specifically trained to treat epilepsy. Certain medications can also be administered when a patient has a convulsive seizure that lasts longer than two to five minutes. One famous drug prescribed to epileptic patients is Gabapentin, a powerful anticonvulsant drug whose effectivity can last very long on the body.
Epileptic patients should also avoid some activities that may endanger their safety if seizures suddenly occur.
“We recommend that they never swim alone, [or] climb above their height so that if they fell, they wouldn’t injure themselves,” said Riviello. “For a younger child, they should not take a bath alone, and older children should avoid a shower with very hot water.”