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What is Epilepsy?

A major reason this bakery was started was to bring awareness to, and raise money for, neuroscience and epilepsy research. All of this is in honor of Christopher Harris – a little boy who died too young after a long battle with epilepsy and seizures. For those unfamiliar with epilepsy and the damage it can cause, this page has facts with more information on these conditions. All the information listed below is collected from the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) page on epilepsy.

  • Epilepsy, also known as a seizure disorder, is a disorder of the brain. Furthermore, a seizure is a change in normal brain activity for a short period of time.
  • Seizures can cause a person to have uncontrollable staring spells or falls. They can also shake and lose awareness of their surroundings. Seizures can last from a few seconds to a few minutes.
  • An occurrence of a seizure doesn’t automatically mean a person has epilepsy. A diagnosis of epilepsy is usually only given when a person has multiple seizures.
  • As of 2013, over 5 million adults and children have a history of epilepsy.
  • About 2.9 million adults and children have active epilepsy as of 2013.
  • Epilepsy can be caused by any condition that affect a person’s brain like stroke, brain tumor, brain infection, brain or head injury, loss of oxygen to the brain (for instance, during birth), genetic disorders or other neurologic diseases. For 2 in 3 people, the cause of epilepsy is unknown.
  • Epilepsy is one of the most common brain conditions in the United States. About 5.1 million people in the United States have a history of epilepsy and about 2.9 million have active epilepsy.
  • Epilepsy and seizures are often treated by neurologists with medicine, surgery to remove part of the brain, the implementation of electrical devices or a change in diet.
  • Most people with epilepsy live a long life, but their are factors that can increase the risk of early death. Some of those factors are health problems, such as a stroke or tumor, falls and other injuries from seizures, seizures that last over 5 minutes and sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). 
  • SUDEP is not well understood and professionals don’t know what causes it, but it is suspected that it happens due to a change in heart rhythms during a seizure or pauses in breathing during a seizure.
  • There are about 1.16 deaths each year as a result of SUDEP for every 1,000 people with epilepsy, although those estimates can vary.
  • Persons with epilepsy can still play sports, as exercise has often been found to improve seizure control. On the other hand, most states in the country will not issue a driver’s license to a person with epilepsy unless that person can provide documentation that he or she has not had a seizure for a specified amount of time.

Epilepsy can, at a minimum, limit a person’s quality of life, cause physical injury , or at its worst, be fatal. Not enough is known about specific causes of and treatments for epilepsy. Part of the goal of this company is to raise awareness of this very serious condition.

If you’d like join us in contributing to epilepsy and neurological research, please click here.

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