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.