Epilepsy in Adults
- Approximately 3 million adults have epilepsy.
- Nearly 1 million are over the age of 55.
- Adults with epilepsy report worse mental health, more problems with thinking, and barriers in social participation.
- Epilepsy can shorten a person’s life; SUDEP.
Epilepsy is increasingly developing in older adults due to:
- Head injuries due to falls.
- Diseases that affect brain function.
- Brain tumors.
- About half diagnosed with epilepsy the cause is unknown.
Although epilepsy is widely recognized by the public, it is poorly understood, even among people who know someone with the disease.
If a person is having problems with their memory, being confused, falling, dizziness, or sensory changes like numbness are often viewed as the “normal” aging process. However, these can actually be signs of seizures and is not normal.
Seizures can be quieter, not falling to the ground and shaking. Seizures can be hard to recognize and overlooked. A person having a seizure may:
- Seem confused.
- Stare into space.
- Make unusual movements.
- Not answer questions or talk.
When these signs occur more than once and often in the same pattern, they could be seizures. Inform your health care provider. Record seizures on a digital device and keep track of how long it lasts.
An Epilepsy Center is a team of experts who offer advanced diagnostic tests to help find the right medication or treatment to prevent seizures, especially when the person has more than one chronic condition or other health problems. Medical advancements offered can help a person live a fulfilling, independent life.
CDC shares that over half of adults taking medicine for epilepsy are still having seizures! If seizures continue despite treatment for more than a year or after the trial of two medications, request a referral from your doctor to an Epilepsy Center.
For additional information see links from the CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov)
My Seizures, Know More Tool - http://www.myseizuresknowmore.com/
This tool is to empower people living with seizures or unfavorable side effects from medication to seek specialized care at an Epilepsy Center.