National Epilepsy Week | What is Epilepsy and how can we support those dealing with the condition?

Epilepsy is a common condition that affects 1 in 100 people in the UK. It is a condition that affects the brain and causes frequent seizures.

Seizures are bursts of electrical activity within the brain that can temporarily affect how is functions and can cause a wide range of symptoms. It is not always clear why seizures happen and is thought to be partly caused by your genes as around 1 in 3 people with the condition have a family member with it. It can also, occasionally, be caused by damage to the brain a result of such issues as a stroke, brain tumour, sever head injury, abuse of drugs or alcohol, brain infection or a lack of oxygen during birth.

Although it can slowly get better over time it is often a lifelong condition and can start at any age. Usually, the onset of epilepsy starts either in childhood or in people aged over 60 years old.

Seizures can affect people in different ways and is dependent on which part of the brain is involved. Symptoms can include; uncontrollable jerking and shaking known as a “fit”, losing awareness and staring blankly, becoming stiff, experiencing strange sensations, or collapsing. Sometimes some with epilepsy may pass out and are unable to remember what happened.

There are a number of treatments for those with epilepsy including anti-epileptic medications, a special diet to control seizures, surgery to remove the small part of the brain causing the seizures, placement of an electrical device in the body to help control seizures.

Although epilepsy can be a lifelong condition most people with it are able to have normal lives as their seizures are well controlled.

There are a number of seizures that people with epilepsy can experience, they range from simple partial seizures where the person is awake and aware that it is happening to seizures or a series of seizures that occur for a prolonged time from which the person does not regain consciousness.

Having an understanding of epilepsy is the first step in being able to support people with the condition. This week is National Epilepsy Week and seeks to raise awareness of epilepsy with the aim to banish the myths surrounding and giving people an understanding of the condition, who is affected and what can be done to help those with the condition.

At Moonrise we support those charities that are making a difference. We ensure that all of our staff are trained in Epilepsy, including in the numerous treatments that can be used to control the condition. Also, through our person-centered approach and continuity of care of using a dedicated team for each Service User we are able to identify the triggers for seizures for each individual allowing staff to respond quickly and ensure the best support is given.

For more information you can visit: National Epilepsy Week 2023 | The Voice for Epilepsy

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