Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to site content
CDC Home

National Epilepsy Awareness Month — November 2012

November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month. Epilepsy, which can occur at any age, is characterized by recurrent, unprovoked seizures (1). Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurologic disorder in the United States, after migraine, stroke, and Alzheimer's disease (1) but is not as well understood as less prevalent conditions such as Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis. Approximately one in 26 persons will develop epilepsy at some point in their lives (2). Delayed recognition of seizures and subsequent inadequate treatment increase the risk for additional seizures, disability, decreased health-related quality of life, and, in rare instances, death (3).

The recently released Institute of Medicine report, Epilepsy Across the Spectrum: Promoting Health and Understanding, stresses that although effective treatments are available for many types of epilepsy, 1) timely referrals and access to those treatments are lacking, 2) epilepsy care and prevention could be enhanced by better data from surveillance and research, 3) education of persons with epilepsy and their families should be thorough and include health literacy and cultural considerations, and 4) the stigma of epilepsy must be eliminated (2).

Additional information regarding epilepsy is available at http://www.cdc.gov/epilepsy.

References

  1. Hirtz D, Thurman DJ, Gwinn-Hardy K, Mohamed M, Chaudhuri AR, Zalutsky R. How common are the "common" neurologic disorders? Neurology 2007;68:326–37.
  2. Institute of Medicine. Epilepsy across the spectrum: promoting health and understanding. Washington, DC: The National Academy Press; 2012. Available at http://www.iom.edu/epilepsy. Accessed November 8, 2012.
  3. Gilliam F. Optimizing health outcomes in active epilepsy. Neurology 2002;58(8 suppl 5):S9–20.

Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

References to non-CDC sites on the Internet are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites. URL addresses listed in MMWR were current as of the date of publication.


All MMWR HTML versions of articles are electronic conversions from typeset documents. This conversion might result in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users are referred to the electronic PDF version (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr) and/or the original MMWR paper copy for printable versions of official text, figures, and tables. An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402-9371; telephone: (202) 512-1800. Contact GPO for current prices.

**Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to mmwrq@cdc.gov.

 
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
A-Z Index
  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #