Epilepsy can strike anyone at any time regardless of age, sex, race, or fitness. Some common causes of epilepsy are: Birth defects, lesions caused by accidents or toxic chemicals, irregular vascularization, or tumors. People who have epilepsy are often discriminated against at work, in social situations, and even in their very own homes. Sometimes, family members become over-protective, which makes it hard for the epileptic person to deal with the limitations of the disease. Fortunately, many forms of epilepsy can be safely controlled, allowing the sufferer to enjoy privileges such as biking, swimming, and even driving a car!
Epilepsy is the second most common disorder of the brain worldwide, and the most common serious neurologic disorder in developing countries (Jallon, 1997). In the United States, epilepsy ranks second, only to cerebrovascular diseases, effecting at least 2 to 3 million people (Hauser & Hesdorffer, 1993). The word “epilepsy” is derived from the Greek word, epilepsia, which means “a taking hold of or seizing” (Delgado-Esqueta, 1999, Penfield, 1954, Temkin, 1945).
Updated April, 2000
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