About epilepsy

Nearly 60,000 people in Finland have epilepsy, which means that about one in hundred Finnish people have epilepsy. Of them, 36,000 take regular medication for epilepsy. There are about 5,000 children with epilepsy. Every year, about 3,000 people start epilepsy medication, of which 800 are children under the age of 15. About one third of epilepsy patients will continue to have seizures despite their medication.

Anyone can get epilepsy: you, me or a loved one. You can get epilepsy at any age. The challenges of living with epilepsy are partly the same and partly different for people of different ages. Epilepsy is a long-term illness, and the treatment is often lifelong.

Epileptic seizure

Epileptic seizure is caused by a sudden disruption in the electrical signals in the brain. Anyone can have a single epileptic seizure. Exposures for a singular epileptic tonic-clonic seizure could be due to:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Stress
  • First stages of detoxing from alcohol and other drugs
  • Some medicines

Single seizure does not necessarily lead to the need of continuous epilepsy medication. Medication is, however, needed if the seizure caused by a brain condition and the person has the tendency to get recurring epileptic seizures without any clear exposing features. In these cases, regular medication is needed.

Noora’s story

YouTube-video

Rare epilepsy in my life

Kuvaus videosta: Noora was nine years old when she got diagnosed with epilepsy. Progressive myoclonic epilepsy type 1 or EPM1, formerly known as Unverricht-Lundborg disease, is a rare epilepsy. “The Finnish Epilepsy Association has given me many new friends and peer support and has taught me a lot about epilepsy and life in general”, Noora says.