Epilepsy Foundation and the American Stroke Association Collaborate to Raise Awareness about Seizure Risk Among Stroke Survivors

New Seizure First Aid Training on World Heart Day to Focus on Strokes and Seizures
Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Bowie, Md. and Dallas, Sept. 21, 2021 — Nearly 1 in 10 stroke survivors will experience a seizure1, which is why the Epilepsy Foundation and the American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association, have teamed up to educate stroke caregivers and their loved ones about how to recognize both stroke and seizures as medical emergencies and what to do in these situations.

A signature event of this first-time collaboration is a Seizure Recognition and First Aid Certification training on World Heart Day, Sept. 29. The training will be led by Lorraine Newborn-Palmer, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, CNRN, CBIS, a professional advisory board member of the Epilepsy Foundation, and feature Philip Gorelick, MD, a national volunteer medical expert from the American Stroke Association. The 90-minute training will teach people how to recognize seizures and strokes and what to do in the event you or someone near you experience these medical emergencies. Those interested should register in advance at epilepsy.com/firstaid.

“Epilepsy and strokes are two significant public health issues that have serious risks, yet lack awareness,” said Brandy Fureman, Ph.D., chief outcomes officer, Epilepsy Foundation. “Our collaboration with the American Stroke Association is important to provide stroke survivors, particularly older adults, with the tools they need to improve their quality of life, as well as educate their loved ones on seizure first aid.”

Stroke is the most common cause of seizures in older adults2. People are more likely to have a seizure if they have had a severe stroke caused by bleeding in the brain or a stroke in part of the brain called the cerebral cortex. In some people, seizures may occur after a stroke because scar tissue formed in brain areas damaged by strokes sends out abnormal electrical signals.

“Brain injuries of any kind are frightening for the people who experience them and the people who love them,” said Dr. Gorelick, who serves as chief medical officer of Thorek Memorial Hospital in Chicago and is an adjunct professor of Neurology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “The American Stroke Association is proud of our collaboration with the Epilepsy Foundation to raise awareness of the link between strokes and seizures to help more individuals reclaim their power and defeat stroke.”

A stroke is a cardiovascular event that happens when the blood supply to a part of the brain is cut off. According to the American Stroke Association, each year approximately 800,000 Americans have a stroke. To learn more about stroke warning signs, visit stroke.org/warningsigns.

To learn more about epilepsy, seizures, and seizure first aid, please visit epilepsy.com/firstaid.

About Epilepsy

According to the World Health Organization, epilepsy is the most common serious brain disorder worldwide with no age, racial, social class, national or geographic boundaries. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) estimates that 3.4 million people in the United States are affected by epilepsy. It is the underlying tendency of the brain to produce seizures which are sudden abnormal bursts of electrical energy that disrupt brain functions.

About the Epilepsy Foundation

With a network of partners throughout the United States, the Epilepsy Foundation is leading the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy. The Foundation connects people to treatment, support and resources; leads advocacy efforts; funds innovative research and the training of specialists; and educates the public about epilepsy and seizure first aid. For more than five decades, the Epilepsy Foundation has shone a light on epilepsy to promote awareness and understanding, and to advocate for laws that matter to people with epilepsy, while also funding epilepsy research and supporting epilepsy investigators and specialists in their early careers. In partnership with the CDC, the Epilepsy Foundation has helped to improve access to care for people with epilepsy, expanded its digital reach and online resources in homes across the country, and trained more than 600,000 people in seizure recognition and first aid. The Epilepsy Foundation continues to focus on serving the epilepsy community through advocacy, education, direct services and research for new therapies. To learn more visit epilepsy.com or call 1.800.332.1000. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is a relentless force for a world with fewer strokes and longer, healthier lives. We team with millions of volunteers and donors to ensure equitable health and stroke care in all communities. We work to prevent, treat and beat stroke by funding innovative research, fighting for the public’s health, and providing lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based association was created in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit stroke.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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1https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaneurology/fullarticle/781335
2https://www.cdc.gov/epilepsy/communications/features/olderadults.htm

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The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

 
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