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Epilepsy and Education…Coming Out Of The Shadows

Epilepsy Talk

It starts in the playground.  A kid has a seizure and everybody freaks out.  Nobody knows what to do.

Maybe not even the school nurse.  Even though epilepsy first aid is a cinch.

It’s frightening to see a child seize and then, based on that fright, they think:

“I can’t deal with this.”

Some people still think epilepsy is contagious!

But kids are very impressionable, and if we show them there’s no reason to treat someone differently because of a condition that is uncontrolled, it’s very helpful.

They want to understand.  They want to help.  But first we must show them how.

Happily, most parents are vigilant, starting support groups, arranging fund-raising functions, bringing family, friends, and neighbors into the fray.

How else will their child lead close to a “normal” life?

Yet, sadly enough, at a recent high school health fair I attended, not one person knew what to do…

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Updated — 40+ Different Kinds of Seizures

Epilepsy Talk

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.

1. Absence Seizure (“Petit Mal”)

Absence seizures account for 2-4 percent of epilepsy. They are characterized by brief episodes of staring, usually lasting only 2-10 seconds and may happen repeatedly during the day. There is no warning before a seizure and the person is completely alert afterwards, with no memory of it. Because they are so mild, you might not even realize…

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USA TODAY: Alcoholism: My ‘bottom’ was being drunk on TV

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Celebrities Supporting Epilepsy

Epilepsy Talk

There are some people who don’t turn a deaf ear to what everyone else doesn’t want to hear. The phobic fear of epilepsy.

For example, Greg Grunberg is a true “Hero.” Not just as a TV star but also as the spokesperson for the Epilepsy Foundation of America. He is joined in his support by:

Harrison Ford of Star Wars fame, auctioned off his “The Force Awakens” signed one-of-a-kind leather jacket for $191,000 to benefit NYU’s non-profit Langone Medical Center in light of his daughter’s successful treatment. He is quoted as saying: “This is a cause near and dear to me.”

Courteney Cox — who achieved fame for her role as Monica Geller on the NBC sitcom “Friends”.

Leonardo DiCaprio — internationally famous for his performance in “Titanic”, “Gangs of New York”, and “The Aviator,” to name a few.

Jennifer Garner — famous for her T.V. role as CIA agent…

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A turn-of-the-century trial, the focus of a new book, took aim at the Victorian double standard

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Epilepsy and Memory…

Epilepsy Talk

To say that lack of memory is a major worry for those of us with epilepsy is hardly a surprise.

In fact, it’s the number one concern.

Simply put, memory is our brain’s ability to store information and find it again later.

Chemical and electrical changes happen in your brain when new memories are made.

It’s a natural brain process that requires continuing attention and recording by parts of your brain.

Seizures interfere with your memory by interfering with attention or input of information.

Confusion often follows a seizure, and during this foggy time, new memory traces aren’t being laid down in the brain.

Tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizures in which you lose consciousness can interfere with normal brain processes and disrupt the registration phase of short-term memory.

Sometimes longer term memories from the period prior to the seizure are lost as well, since these memories may have not yet being…

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