Epilepsy Talk

Epilepsy Stats and Facts | December 1, 2018

I call epilepsy a “stealth disease”, because it’s difficult to imagine how so few people know about a “silent” condition that affects so many.

For example, few people know:

* Epilepsy affects over 3.4 million Americans of all ages – more than Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, and Parkinson’s Disease combined.

* In America, Epilepsy is as common as Breast Cancer, and takes as many lives.

* It’s the third most common neurological disorder after Alzheimer’s and stroke.

*Almost 500 new cases of epilepsy are diagnosed every day in the United States.

* Epilepsy affects 50,000,000 people worldwide.

* One in 100 people will develop epilepsy.

* One in 10 people will suffer a seizure in their lifetime.

* This year another 200,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with epilepsy.

* Children and seniors are at higher risk.

* 30% of those diagnosed are children.

* Epilepsy can develop at any age and can be a result of genetics, stroke, head injury, and many other factors.

* There are 40+ different types of seizures.

* For many soldiers suffering traumatic brain injury on the battlefield, epilepsy will be a long-term consequence.

* In two-thirds of patients diagnosed with epilepsy, the cause is unknown.

* In over 30% of patients, seizures cannot be controlled with treatment.

* Uncontrolled seizures may lead to brain damage and death.

* Up to 50,000 Americans die each year from seizures and related causes.

* The mortality rate among people with epilepsy is two to three times higher than the general population.

* Risk of sudden death among those with epilepsy is twenty-four times greater.

* Epilepsy results in an estimated annual cost of $15.5 billion in medical costs and lost or reduced earnings and production.

* The Federal Government spends much less on epilepsy research compared to other diseases, which affect fewer people.

* Each year the National Institute of Health (NIH) spends $30 billion of medical research, but just ½ of 1% is spent on epilepsy.

* St Valentine is the patron saint of people with epilepsy!

To subscribe to Epilepsy Talk and get the latest articles by email, simply go to the bottom box of the right column, enter your email address and click on “Follow.”









  1. Thanks, Phyllis. Your columns are always interesting. Why is St. Valentine the patron saint of epilepsy?

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Martha — December 1, 2018 @ 4:08 PM

    • St. Valentine’s role as the patron saint of epilepsy is not widely known, for epilepsy was defined as an incurable disease thought of as a supernatural event such as a curse or a possession by an evil spirit.

      Since there was no cure for epilepsy, healing was only possible by divine intervention and saints were called upon to intercede for these patients.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — December 1, 2018 @ 4:17 PM

  2. Well I have epilepsy and I am 63 years old and I had two seniors this year and for the last two months I get some mild little ones and I am on keppra 1000 mil two times a day but my doctor does not think it is the med that is causing them it is something else and so do I we think it is my other med I am taking for my Tyrone.


    Comment by michael Hartman — December 1, 2018 @ 4:11 PM

  3. Thank You Very Much, Phylis! This column and many of your others have helped me decide that when I see my Epilepsy Specialist tomorrow, that I’m going to have to talk with her about a second round of neurosurgery, at the Mayo Clinic, because it’s gotten to the point where no anticonvulsant totally controls my seizures.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by David Jensen — December 2, 2018 @ 2:46 PM

  4. My name is Wayne. My sister had open heart surgery at 2 years old to fix holes in her heart she was born with and never closed. This was I think 1972. The blood and oxygen to her brain was interrupted to the extent she was left mentally disabled. In 1996 my mother and sister moved in with me at my house. My mother cared for Tracy the best she could. Without help. She, my mother, passed away in 2010 and I have been caring for Tracy since. Tracy’s health has started to go downhill. She’s started having seizures a couple months ago. She has Medicare with senior dimension although she is 48 years old. This morning she had one and she can’t seem to stop shaking. I don’t have a vehicle or my house any more. I haven’t been able to work so it’s been a struggle. I’ve tried to get help.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Wayne Heil — December 9, 2018 @ 10:30 PM

    • First of all, you should contact your local Epilepsy Foundation for guidance and direction.


      Next, you might be able to get help from an organization called “Josh Provides.org.”

      They can help with financial assistance for those living with epilepsy and other seizure disorders and their families who need help paying the expenses they incur for:

      Transportation expenses to and from home, school, medical services and employment, through the purchase from or through third parties of gas cards, bus passes, taxi cab cards, or other third-party transit options plus:

      Prescription medication — Medical services — Seizure response dogs — Seizure detection devices — Seizure prediction devices.

      Also included are other technologies, methods, and devices which are recommended by the patient’s medical doctor and are not covered by private medical insurance, other reimbursement plans, or government-funded programs, i.e. Medicaid benefits and Medicare benefits (but not insurance premiums)

      The link is: http://joshprovides.org/get-help/how-joshprovides-can-help/

      Good luck and I hope you find the help that you need.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — December 9, 2018 @ 10:39 PM

  5. Phyllis, I have so many seizures,all types and am on so many drugs, I can’t name them all . I am 64 years old, I can’t get a neurologist that will touch my case, and now I’m starting to shake. What is wrong!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Curtis — December 13, 2018 @ 7:07 PM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

    View Full Profile →

    Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,501 other followers

    Follow Epilepsy Talk on WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: