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Notice to Readers: National Epilepsy Awareness Month --- November 2006

November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month. In 2006, epilepsy affects approximately 3 million persons in the United States and is characterized by recurrent, unprovoked seizures. Delayed recognition of seizures and inadequate treatment 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 problematic as they transition into adult activities (e.g., driving and working). The number of cases among older adults is increasing as the U.S. population ages.

The Epilepsy Foundation, in partnership with CDC, is continuing its national programs to improve the health care and community support available to persons affected by epilepsy through public education and community awareness programs. The theme for this year's foundation campaign, which begins in November and will extend throughout the year, is "Not another moment lost to seizures." The campaign includes initiatives targeting outreach and education to young persons, seniors, blacks, and Hispanics. The foundation also is developing a first responders curriculum to train emergency response personnel. In addition, the foundation has established partnerships with other national and local organizations to provide public education and community awareness programs. These organizations include the National Association of School Nurses, American Association of Retired Persons, Community Health Workers/Promotores National Network, National Council of La Raza, National Center for Farmworker Health, and East Coast Community Health Centers Association.

Information regarding epilepsy and the campaign is available from the Epilepsy Foundation by telephone (800-332-1000) or at http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org. Information in Spanish is available at http://www.fundacionparalaepilepsia.org or by telephone (866-748-8008).



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