Easing the Seizures, and Stigma, of Epilepsy

Easing the Seizures, and Stigma, of Epilepsy

Half of all epilepsy patients are children

Epilepsy affects 50 million people worldwide and more than 2.7 million people in the United States; half of all patients are children. Especially in its intractable form, also called refractory epilepsy, the disorder — and the side effects of epilepsy medications — can cause problems in learning, memory and behavior, and indelibly alter development. Epilepsy can also consume families, monopolizing their time, money and energy.

Despite the number of people with epilepsy — the disorder affects more Americans than do Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Lou Gehrig’s disease combined — it still carries a stigma that dates to ancient civilizations.

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