There are about 55 000 adults with epilepsy in Finland. Around 3 000 people start their epilepsy medication yearly, of which most are elderly adults. For most, symptoms are well controlled with medication. About a third, however, will still suffer from seizures regardless of medication.
Treating epilepsy is essential because recurring seizures are risky. Epilepsy is treated with prolonged and regular medication that prevents seizures, which is described by a specialist doctor based on the diagnosis. Usually medication is used for years, sometimes for the rest of life.
About a fifth of adults with epilepsy have a severe epilepsy. Severe epilepsy is a condition where symptoms restrict daily life regardless of appropriate medication. These symptoms may be recurring seizures, cognitive or behavioural problems, developmental delays or side effects of treatment. “Appropriate medication” refers to the stage where well chosen medication with the right doses (based on two seizure-type or epilepsy-type medication) have not been able to stop the seizures.