Epilepsy Facts and Myths
Neurologists in Akron and Canton, OH
Epilepsy is a neurological condition with a lot of misconceptions. More than 2 million people in the United States suffer from it, so it’s important to have all the facts
1. I’ve had one seizure, so that means I’m epileptic
FALSE – Having one seizure doesn’t mean you’re epileptic. By definition, epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes recurrent seizures.
2. Lack of sleep is the most common trigger for seizures.
TRUE – In most people, sleep deprivation is a very powerful trigger for epileptic seizures. Other factors include alcohol consumption, stress, and hormonal changes.
3. It’s easy to pinpoint the cause of epilepsy.
FALSE – Approximately seven out of ten people don’t know about know what causes their epilepsy. In some cases, epilepsy can be caused by birth or head injuries, infectious disease or genetic disorders.
4. Depression, anxiety, and headaches are common in people who suffer from epilepsy.
TRUE – People with epilepsy often suffer from other medical conditions, such as depression, ADHD, anxiety, and personality disorders.
5. Seizures are caused by abnormal electrical activity.
TRUE – Epileptic seizures occur because connections between the cells and the brain don’t function properly, which can lead to the brain trying to shut down.
6. Epilepsy can’t be diagnosed with testing
FALSE – Epilepsy can be diagnosed with an EEG. An EEG can help diagnose the neurological condition by recording electrical signals in the brain.
7. Fasting is an effective way to treat epilepsy
FALSE – Fasting has been used to treat patients, but it’s not a common treatment method. Seventy to 80 percent of patients use antiepileptic drugs to treat epilepsy.
8. All seizures should be treated as an emergency
FALSE – Most seizures stop on their own with no permanent damage. However, if a seizure is lasting longer than normal or if someone is having their first seizure, it’s important to call 911.