The Owner’s Manual

MILEPOST 11—THE OWNER’S MANUAL

Here are some epilepsy statistics straight out of the E people’s toolbox, the Epilepsy Foundation site that currently is Epilepsy.com,

http://epilepsy.com

EPILEPSY STATISTICS:

  • Anyone at any age can have a seizure if the brain is sufficiently stressed by injury or disease.
  • World Population—approximately 7.2 billion, USA Population—320 million (as of 11-09-2014)
  • E people are between 1% and 3% of the World population.
  • Males are twice as likely to develop Epilepsy, thus the figure—(Figures are approximated to nearest 100 thousand) For the 1% rate—In the world—total E people—72 million, that comes out to 48 million males, 24 million females. In the United States—2.1 million males, 1.1 million females. For the 2% rate—In the World—total E people—144 million, 96 million males as opposed to 48 million females, in the USA approximately—4.5 million males and 2.1 million females. For the 3% rate—In the World—total E people—216 million, 144 million males and 72 million women. In the USA—6.4 million males and approximately 3.2 million females.
  • The Epilepsy Foundation puts the number of new cases at 200,000 every year
  • 10% of the American population will have a seizure in their lifetime, this is not considered Epilepsy, if it recurs, then the person is diagnosed with Epilepsy
  • 3% will develop Epilepsy by age 75
  • Just to give you some idea of how off base some people can be about E, in this case someone religious; two or three years ago a young woman posted on the Epilepsy Foundation site (check—About the Author at the back of the book for my page’s URL, and if you have E or are a caregiver join us, it is like Face-Book for people with Epilepsy). “I could not believe my ears and what happened, about two weeks ago I was attending a tent revival meeting; it was incredibly hot, so much so we were getting ready to leave and head for a movie theater to enjoy the AC there. I had a grand mal/GTC seizure in front of everybody, I think we’ve all been there at one time or another. I soiled my white dress, major league embarrassment, but what really got to me was when I came out of it, the learned preacher said I had a lunatic demon loose inside and that I must fast and pray to heal me of the “demonic affliction.” If you ask me, the preacher was the lunatic and E is nothing to be embarrassed about.” I’m holding back this person’s name because she was really hurt by the misunderstanding that happened.
  • 300,000 people have a first convulsion each year
  • 120,000 of them are under the age of 18
  • Between 75,000 and 100,000 of them are under the age of 5
  • 350,000 African-Americans have Epilepsy, and nearly 24,000 new cases are diagnosed each year—Incidence is greater in African-American and socially disadvantaged populations.
  • I’m going to include seniors as a socially disadvantaged group, 300,000 American Senior Citizens have been diagnosed with Epilepsy, the most rapidly growing population group with Epilepsy.

Causes (After effects of):

  • Stroke
  • Tumor
  • Or Cardio-vascular events

TREATMENT IS MORE DIFFICULT, PROBLEMS DUE TO:

  • Age related issues
  • Use of other medications
  • Increased risk of falls, broken bones
  • Loss of independence
  • Incidence is highest under the age of 2 and over 65
  • 45,000 children under the age of 15 develop Epilepsy each year. Mine started at age 11, not quite sure what that figure was in 1974
  • Trend shows decreased incidence in children; increased incidence in the elderly
  • In 70% of new cases, no cause is apparent
  • 50% of people with new cases of Epilepsy will have generalized onset seizures
  • Generalized seizures are more common in children under the age of 10; afterward, more than half of all new cases of Epilepsy will have partial seizures

PREVALENCE

  • Prevalence of active Epilepsy (history of the disorder plus a seizure or use of anti-epileptic medicine within the past 5 years) is estimated at almost 3,100,000 in the United States. Note discrepancy above
  • Prevalence tends to increase with age
  • 326,000 school children through age 15 have Epilepsy.
  • More than 300,000 persons over the age of 65 have Epilepsy.
  • Higher among racial minorities than among Caucasians.

CUMULATIVE INCIDENCE (RISK OF DEVELOPING EPILEPSY):

  • By 20 years of age, one percent of the population can be expected to have developed Epilepsy.
  • By 75 years of age, 3% of the population can be expected to have been diagnosed with Epilepsy, and 10% will have experienced some type of seizure (not necessarily considered Epilepsy)

EPILEPSY RISK IN SPECIAL RISK POPULATIONS:

(Here I have to state that Epilepsy is a physiological disease, not a psychological, or supernatural aberration (as many, after years of education to the contrary, still consider it).

  • 25.8% of children with mental retardation
  • 13% of children with cerebral palsy
  • 50% of children with both disabilities
  • 10% of Alzheimer patients
  • 22% of stroke patients
  • 8.7% of children of mothers with Epilepsy
  • 2.4% of children of fathers with Epilepsy
  • Men are twice as likely to have E than women, 2:1, but rounded out to the nearest half percentage, women are 3.5 times more likely to parent a child that has E. Pregnancy is something to seriously be considered what with potential birth defects that might be caused by AEDs. I have decided never to father a child, unless my brother gets married, the Miller name ends with me. Two weeks ago I told my parents of my decision; my father was supportive, my mother, a bit hesitant as I’m sure she wanted the Miller name to continue through me, and she wanted more grandchildren, at the age of 79.
  • 33% of people who have had a single, unprovoked seizure

REMISSION

  • 70% of people with Epilepsy can be expected to enter remission, defined as 5 or more years seizure free on medication. If that happened, it would really be a wild trip. I’d rev my engine and blow my horn if that ever happened.
  • 35% of people with mental retardation, cerebral palsy, or other neurological condition will enter remission.
  • 75% of people who are seizure free on medication for 2 to 5 years can be successfully withdrawn from medication (under a Doctor’s strict supervision).
  • 10% of new patients fail to gain control of seizures despite optimal medical management

I’m being honest here; my seizures are controlled to a certain extent, not seizure-free by any means. I spent an hour in an ER this week because my seizures were so uncontrolled. Banzel has been the cop that wrote the partial-control ticket to my seizing vehicle. People around me know I have Epilepsy because I’ve told them, I think honesty here with your friends is paramount. Tell them so they won’t think you’re weird, or high, mentally ill and acting out, though who would want to pretend they have seizures, is beyond my reasoning—and I have met a few in my life, and seeing the pills you ingest—one of those drug abusers you hear about, call the cops or psychiatric people. I’m sorry, but I have no respect for psych ward people, and I do apologize for that attitude. I also realize that they have a job to do and they do it to the best of their abilities. I spent five-days in a Psych Ward once and never plan on spending another second in one.

All the details given, unless otherwise noted came from the Epilepsy Foundation. Details regarding population, World and USA, came from the USA Census Bureau’s Population Clocks.

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