Epilepsy Talk

Is Epilepsy Inherited?

January 12, 2019
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Just because you have a parent, sibling, cousin or aunt who has epilepsy doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have it also.

In fact, if you have a close relative with epilepsy, the chance of you having epilepsy is only about 2-5%, depending on the specific type of epilepsy.


People Talk About Their Out-Of-Body Experiences

December 14, 2018
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Alterations of consciousness are critical factors in the diagnosis of epileptic seizures. Some people report sensations of separating from the physical body, experiences that may, in rare cases, resemble spontaneous out-of-body experiences.

New research has linked these experiences to instabilities in the temporal lobe, and to errors in the body’s sense of itself — even in healthy individuals.

With simple partial seizures, some people report having out-of-body experiences. Time may seem distorted as well.

These out-of-body experiences (OBE) can vary from person to person, but they often involve the sense of floating above one’s actual body and looking down. For neuroscientists, the phenomenon is a puzzle and an opportunity: Understanding how the brain goes awry can also illuminate how it is supposed to work.


Epilepsy Versus “Pseudo-Seizures”

December 9, 2018
2 Comments

Epilepsy is not a dirty word.  Neither is pseudo-seizures. 

But they both coexist, side by side.

One of the most common complications is the misconception that people who suffer from pseudo-seizures are hypochondriacs, hysterics, or “faking it.”

The name for the condition alone, “pseudo-seizures,” perpetuates that misunderstanding.

The term “pseudo-seizures” is extremely misleading. The seizures are quite real, and people who have then do not have conscious, voluntary control over them.


Epilepsy Stats and Facts

December 1, 2018
10 Comments

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:


Updated — 40+ Different Kinds of Seizures

November 29, 2018
13 Comments

When I was first diagnosed with epilepsy, there were two kinds of epilepsy. Grand Mal and Petit Mal. (Can you guess how old I am?)

Now, things are much more different and difficult. No more cut and dried.

So, please, if you have any additions, subtractions or corrections, feel free to chime in.

Because I don’t pretend to be an expert. In fact, this has certainly been a learning experience, from start to finish.

Here, to the best of my knowledge, are the 40+ different types of epilepsy.


Stevens-Johnson Syndrome — a danger for those on Dilantin or Lamictal

November 19, 2018
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This article is not for those with a weak stomach.  Because Stevens-Johnson Syndrome is an ugly and sometimes deadly disease.

But if you are on Dilantin or Lamictal, I urge you to read this information.

According to the Mayo Clinic: Stevens-Johnson Syndrome is a rare, serious condition, thought to be caused by a disorder of your immune system.


Dilantin — What People Are Saying…

November 13, 2018
23 Comments

When I was first diagnosed with epilepsy back in 1969, the availability of AEDs was limited.

Phenobarbital or Dilantin.

Pick your poison.

I chose Dilantin. It was not a pretty picture.


Dilantin — Hero or Horror?

November 12, 2018
15 Comments

Dilantin (Phenytoin) can be considered the grandfather of all epilepsy medications.

Although it was invented in 1908 as a chemical that could prevent convulsions during electroshock treatment, its popularity grew quickly, and as early as 1940, it was hailed as initiating a whole new epoch of anti-epilepsy drugs, motivating researchers to seek even more effective medications and pharmaceutical companies set up aggressive screening programs.

In the next two decades, a dozen new anticonvulsants were introduced into clinical therapy!

Today, Dilantin remains one of the most widely used drugs in the world.


Autoimmune Epilepsy — Cause of Previously Unexplained Seizures?

November 7, 2018
2 Comments

Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are the mainstay of treatment for epilepsy, but seizures continue in one-third of patients despite appropriate AED therapeutic trials.

Even in the current era, the etiology of epilepsy often remains unclear.

Some patients with unexplained partial seizures which are medication resistant may have “autoimmune epilepsy” — epilepsy characterized by autoimmune antibodies.

Although autoimmune epilepsy is still rare, it’s become an increasingly recognized cause of epilepsy, which might have been previously thought to be of unknown cause.

What is the immune system and what are the types of immune disorders?


Memory Tips You (Hopefully) Won’t Forget!

October 24, 2018
16 Comments

I have a confession to make.

I’m the queen of “Post-Its”. I have Post-Its on tables, counters, walls, doors. I don’t know how I lived without them.

I guess, in the “old” days, I was the same with lists. Many lists. And way too much Scotch Tape.

Factoid: The man who invented Post-Its was an employee at 3M (also the maker of Scotch Tape) who went to his boss with a bright new idea. I don’t know if he got a raise, but he gets no royalties. Just my undying admiration and thanks.

Anyway, short of taking stock in 3M, here are some other suggestions…


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    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.

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