I call epilepsy a “stealth” disease, but it’s difficult to imagine how so few people can know about a disease that affects so many.
For example, few people know:
* Epilepsy affects over 3 million Americans of all ages – more than Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, and Parkinson’s Disease combined.
* In America, Epilepsy is as common as Breast Cancer, and takes as many lives.
*Almost 500 new cases of Epilepsy are diagnosed every day in the United States.
* Epilepsy affects 50,000,000 people worldwide.
* One in 100 people will develop Epilepsy.
* One in 10 people will suffer a seizure in their lifetime.
* This year another 200,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with Epilepsy.
* Each year over 125,000 to 150,000 are newly diagnosed with Epilepsy.
* 30% of those diagnosed are children.
* Epilepsy can develop at any age and can be a result of genetics, stroke, head injury, and many other factors.
* For many soldiers suffering traumatic brain injury on the battlefield, Epilepsy will be a long-term consequence.
* In two-thirds of patients diagnosed with Epilepsy, the cause is unknown.
* In over 30% of patients, seizures cannot be controlled with treatment.
* Uncontrolled seizures may lead to brain damage and death.
* Up to 50,000 Americans die each year from seizures and related causes.
* The mortality rate among people with Epilepsy is two to three times higher than the general population.
* Risk of sudden death among those with Epilepsy is twenty-four times greater.
* Epilepsy results in an estimated annual cost of $15.5 billion in medical costs and lost or reduced earnings and production.
* Historically, epilepsy research has been under-funded. Each year NIH spends $30 billion of medical research, but just ½ of 1% is spent on epilepsy.
* The Federal government spends much less on Epilepsy research compared to other diseases, many which affect fewer people.
* St Valentine is the patron saint of people with epilepsy!