Nearly 60,000 people in Finland have epilepsy, which makes it about one in a hundred to have epilepsy. Of them, 36,000 take regular medication for epilepsy. There are about 5,000 children with epilepsy in Finland. 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 develop epilepsy: you, me or a loved one. You can develop epilepsy or seizures 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 often lasts through lifetime.
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 seizure could be due to:
- Lack of sleep
- 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 is 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.
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.