Medical Minute: Epilepsy Awareness Month
The numbers might surprise you: one in 26. That's how many people will develop epilepsy during their lifetime.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) describes epilepsy as the following:
- Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain that causes seizures.
- Epilepsy can affect people in very different ways. This is because there are many causes and many different kinds of seizures. Some people may have multiple types of seizures or other medical conditions in addition to epilepsy. These factors play a major role in determining both the severity of the person’s condition and the impact it has on his or her life.
- The way a seizure looks depends on the type of seizure a person is experiencing. Some seizures can look like staring spells. Other seizures can cause a person to collapse, shake, and become unaware of what’s going on around them.
"It is a chronic disease, we are able to use testing to see what is happening in many cases, and how to best treat each individual person," said Angela Parsons, MD, adult epileptologist with OhioHealth.
In about 70 percent of cases, the patient can have medication to control their symptoms from epilepsy. "We really have unlimited options for treatment of epilepsy. How aggressive to they want us to be? From there we can use medication or other options to treat the patient," Dr. Parsons said.
In about 30 percent of cases, medication can't keep the epilepsy under control. In some of those cases, surgery can be an option. "We really offer every cutting-edge procedure you can think of," Dr. Parsons said. There is monitoring that can help further look at where the seizures are starting from. In some cases surgery might not be a good fit. In those cases, there are other options like devices for those with epilepsy. "Here at OhioHealth we are expanding our RNS, or Responsive Neuro Stimulator that goes into the brain itself and is tailored to a person's specific type of epilepsy," Dr. Parsons said.
If you'd like to learn more about the epilepsy program at OhioHealth click here.