National Epilepsy Week takes place in May, and the dates are decided a few weeks before the event. This year, it takes place from May 20 to 26. People take the week to raise awareness about the alignment by highlighting patients’ struggles with epilepsy in their day-to-day lives.
History of National Epilepsy Week
There are records documenting and describing epilepsy since ancient Greece, and it was believed for centuries to be the work of a devilish creature or even a punishment from God. However, thanks to modern science and medicine, it is clear that epilepsy is caused by a combination of multiple neurological disorders that trigger seizures. These seizures are episodes of extreme shaking that can last for a few minutes and can even lead to death if not attended to. For an epilepsy diagnosis, there has to be a continuous discharge in the brain that provokes these seizures.
There is no clear cause of epilepsy, but brain trauma, surgery, stroke, tumors, and even complications during birth can be catalysts for the development of the disorder. It’s vital to clear the probability of the patient simply going through withdrawals or extreme fatigue to diagnose epilepsy. A doctor can diagnose it by doing an E.E.G. — an electroencephalogram — or performing blood tests.
Epilepsy is treated using a medication, and in 69% of cases, the seizures are monitored effectively. However, in some cases, patients require surgery to get better. Epilepsy is prevalent in the elderly. About 50 million people have had epilepsy but got treatment. In some places in the world, people with epilepsy are not legally allowed to drive.
National Epilepsy Week timeline
The writing of records detailing symptoms of epilepsy starts in the Middle East.
Babylonians use medical terms to describe epilepsy in detail.
The use of animals as test subjects begins in a bid to develop epilepsy drugs to combat seizures.
Phenytoin is available for patients and doctors around the world.
National Epilepsy Week FAQs
What color ribbon is for epilepsy?
The most common ribbon color chosen to represent epilepsy is purple.
What is a symbol for epilepsy?
The seahorse is commonly used to represent epilepsy.
What is the best vitamin for epilepsy?
Vitamins B6 and E can help reduce the frequency of seizures.
How to Observe National Epilepsy Week
Talk to en epileptic
Use the day to get an insight into the disease. Try talking to someone who struggles with it. You might find ways to be helpful.
Post on social media
Make a post with a purple ribbon. This will help to show your support for the cause.
Volunteer at a hospital
To learn more about epilepsy, you can always find some time to volunteer to help at a hospital. Spend your time getting to know some of the patients.
5 Facts About Epilepsy You Probably Didn’t Know
Its symbol is the seahorse
The part of the brain affected by epilepsy is the hippocampus, which means ‘seahorse’ in Greek.
It has a patron saint
Saint Valentine is the patron of those with epilepsy.
It’s not limited to humans
Any living organism with a brain can have epilepsy, not just humans.
Dogs can pick it up
Dogs are trained to recognize the signs of a seizure so they can signal for help.
Its color is purple
The color purple represents epilepsy because of the lavender flower.
Why National Epilepsy Week is Important
It raises awareness
It’s a whole week dedicated to raising awareness about epilepsy, in a world where we barely talk about it. Do your part to raise awareness.
It brings people together
Sometimes, people with epilepsy might feel out of place or even unaccepted by their social groups. This week promotes inclusion.
Share information with those who don’t have an in-depth knowledge of epilepsy. It will help with society’s understanding of epilepsy.
National Epilepsy Week dates