According to the Epilepsy Foundation, nearly 3 million Americans have epilepsy and seizures each year.

What does it mean when a child or person is diagnosed with Epilepsy?
According to the Mayo Clinic, epilepsy is a nervous system disorder (neurological disorder) in which the nerve cell activity in your brain is disturbed, causing you to experience unusual behavior and sensations, loss of consciousness or seizures.

Epilepsy comes from a Greek word meaning “a condition of being overcome, seized or attacked.” People who have epilepsy have seizures.

This condition has many possible causes including anything that disturbs the normal pattern of neuron activity from brain damage or illness to abnormal brain development.

Did you know that there are more than 30 different types of seizures?

How is Epilepsy diagnosed?
The most important ways to diagnosis epilepsy is the use of brain scans like CT (computed tomography) and PET (positron emission tomography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography). SPECT is a relatively new type of brain scan that is sometimes used to locate seizure foci in the brain.

The most common test to detect epilepsy is an EEG that records the brain waves detected by electrodes placed on the scalp. It can detect abnormalities. In conjunction with video monitoring, EEG can help determine the nature of a person’s seizures as well as rule out other disorders.

When do seizures happen?
Seizures happen when there is unusual electrical activity in the brain. Brain cells are constantly sending out electrical signals that travel along nerves to the rest of the body. Perhaps your child has epilepsy and cannot control his/her muscles while he/she is having a seizure. If too many brain cells are sending signals at the same time, it causes an overload, and your child may pass out and shake all over. Due to the advances in medicine, your child has the ability to live a life like other children do.

Due to the advances in medicine, your child has the ability to live a life like other children do.

Are you a parent or caregiver of a child with epilepsy? Check out the Epilepsy Foundation online at www.epilepsyfoundation.org or call 1-800-332-1000.

Visit the Children Epilepsy Association at www.epilepsyassociation.com or call 1-866-864-1416.