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Notice to Readers: National Epilepsy Awareness Month ---- November 2005

November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month. Epilepsy affects approximately 2.7 million persons in the United States and is characterized by unprovoked seizures. Delayed recognition of seizures and inadequate treatment greatly increase the risk for subsequent seizures, brain damage, disability, decreased health-related quality of life, and death from injuries incurred during a seizure. Epilepsy most often affects young children and older adults, although persons can have epilepsy at any age. The effects of epilepsy on children can be especially burdensome as they transition into adulthood (e.g., driving and working). The number of cases among older adults is increasing as the U.S. population ages. Outside the medical community, epilepsy is a poorly understood condition, even among families and friends of affected persons.

To improve social acceptance and understanding of epilepsy and to increase support for persons living with it, the Epilepsy Foundation, in partnership with CDC, is expanding its campaign to focus on providing information about epilepsy to the Hispanic community through national and local partnerships, including Hispanic Radio Network, local affiliates of the National Council of La Raza, and local groups of the Community Health Workers (Promotoras) National Network. Information about epilepsy and the campaign is available from the Epilepsy Foundation, telephone 800-332-1000, or at http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org and in Spanish at telephone 866-748-8008 or at http://www.fundacionparalaepilepsia.org.

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Date last reviewed: 10/26/2005

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