Little-Known Facts About Epilepsy

  • Overall, 1 of 26 individuals have, or will have epilepsy: Approximately 3 million adults in the US have active epilepsy, with one third of those over age 55. The highest incidence of epilepsy is now seen in adults over 60 or 65 years of age, often due to stroke, brain tumors, traumatic brain injuries, or neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia.
  • Although approximately two-thirds (2/3) of patients with epilepsy may have seizures adequately controlled with anti-seizure drugs (ASDs), one third (1/3) will suffer from drug-resistant seizure. These patients are often candidates for epilepsy surgery which can eliminate or substantially reduce seizures.
  • Recurrent seizures are also a burden for those living with other disorders such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, autism, multiple sclerosis, tuberous sclerosis, and a variety of genetic syndromes.
  • There is a strong association between epilepsy and depression: more than one of every three persons with epilepsy will also be affected by depression, and people with a history of depression have a higher risk of developing epilepsy.
  • It is estimated that up to 50,000 deaths occur annually in the U.S. from prolonged seizures, Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP), and additional seizure-related causes such as drowning and other accidents.
  • For many soldiers suffering traumatic brain injury on the battlefield, epilepsy will be a long-term consequence.

Cited from the Epilepsy Support Network of Orange County and