Epilepsy Syndromes

What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is sometimes described as a hidden condition or disability because it is not always obvious that a person has epilepsy unless they have a visible seizure. It is a condition which is diagnosed by a medical specialist after an individual has had 2 or more unprovoked seizures. Not all people who have seizures have epilepsy.

In Australia around 10% of the population will experience a seizure in their lifetime however currently only about 1% of the population is diagnosed with epilepsy. Although epilepsy can develop at any stage in life it is most common in children, adolescents and people aged over 60. There are a number of treatments for epilepsy however some childhood epilepsy syndromes are “outgrown”.

Epilepsy impacts on people in different ways. For some people it does not have a big impact whereas others may experience some physical, psychological and social impacts. There are more than 70 types of seizures. An individual’s behavior during a seizure depends on the type of seizure and the area of the brain being affected.

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