When it comes to epilepsy, what do you know now that you wish you knew sooner?
That’s the question the Epilepsy Foundation is asking epilepsy patients and their families to ponder during National Epilepsy Awareness Month, which takes place every November. Share your struggles and successes in a video submission to the “Now I Know” campaign. Visitors to Epilepsy Foundation’s Facebook page will then have to the opportunity to vote on their favorites and share top videos with their social networks. Ultimately, the top vote getters in each of four regions will win iPads and other prizes.
Affecting more than two million Americans, epilepsy is defined by the Epilepsy Foundation as “a medical condition that produces seizures affecting a variety of mental and physical functions.” When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures – brief, strong surges of electrical activity affecting part or all of the brain that last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes – they are typically considered to have epilepsy. Symptoms can range from convulsions and loss of consciousness to more subtle signs, such as lip smacking, blank stares and jerking movements in the arms and legs.
What does it mean to be “seizure smart”? It means being knowledgeable about how to help in the event that someone has a seizure in your presence. Given that one in 100 Americans has epilepsy – and one in 10 adults will have a seizure sometime during their life – this type of basic seizure first aid could help save someone’s life at work, at a restaurant or just walking down the street.
In honor of Epilepsy Awareness Month, the National Epilepsy Foundation has created a short interactive quiz that helps you become “seizure smart.” The goal is to get five million Americans to take and distribute the quiz. Once you’ve gotten “seizure smart,” you can then help raise awareness and proudly post your completion certificate on Facebook for everyone to see.
Got an affinity for posting things on Facebook anyway? You’re the perfect candidate for the Get Seizure Smart Photo Contest. Categories include “Funniest or Silliest,” “Most Impactful,” “Best Animal” and more. All photos must be submitted by November 30th at 3 p.m. EST. Learn about other Epilepsy Awareness Month activities taking place each day of the month here.
At PatientsLikeMe, we have 4,456 patients who report having epilepsy, with 71% of them female and 29% of them male. Some of the most commonly reported symptoms include excessive daytime sleepiness, headaches and memory problems, while some of the most commonly reported treatments include Levetiracetam (Keppra), Lamotrigine (Lamictal) and Topiramate (Topamax). (Click the links for each of these anticonvulsant medications to read hundreds of treatment evaluations submitted by our patients, who share their experiences with dosages, side effects, efficacy, costs and more.)
If you have epilepsy, join our growing community to share treatment data, support and advice with those who can relate. For everyone else, get “seizure smart” and help make a difference today – and quite possibly in the future.
You can search for patients by more than 10 seizure types, such as simple partial, myoclonic, atonic, and tonic-clonic.
You can also search by 19 different epilepsy types, including temporal lobe, frontal lobe, occipital lobe, juvenile myoclonic, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and epilepsy with grand mal seizures on awakening.
Others in the community have indicated a causative comorbidity for their condition, such as:
Head injury (242 patients to date)
Brain tumor (70 patients to date)
Stroke (38 patients to date)
Encephalitis (34 patients to date)
543 patient members were diagnosed recently (5 years or less) and 823 were diagnosed 20+ years ago.
As part of this first survey, members told us the top issues most important to them – indicating the top three as overall quality of life, seizure worry (i.e., impact of seizures) and mental activity (i.e., thinking, concentrating, memory).
How are our members treating their condition?
Patients are using thousands of treatments, including prescription drugs, supplements, over-the-counter medications, life-style modifications, procedures, and more.
At PatientsLikeMe, people with every type of condition are coming together to share their health experiences, find patients like them and learn how to take control of their health. The result is improved care for patients as well as an acceleration of real-world medical research.
Stay tuned to our blog for the latest happenings with our company, our patients and our mission of opening up the healthcare system.