According to recent research from the government, the number of people in America who are living with epilepsy today
is higher than it has ever been. There are approximately 3.4 million people who are dealing with epilepsy today, which equates to about 1.2 percent of the population, according to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They published their information in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, which is the CDC’s journal.
The increase is for adults with active epilepsy, as well as children with epilepsy. When it comes to what is causing the increase, researcher Rosemarie Kobay, the head of the epilepsy program for the CDC, believes that it is likely due to the increase in the population. She also said that they were not aware if there were other factors involved, as well.
The increase is not limited to just certain states or pockets of the country. It is widespread and occurring around the nation. Naturally, those states that have a lower population will have fewer cases of epilepsy. Some states that have larger populations, such as California, have the highest rates. CA has approximately 368,000 adults with epilepsy and nearly 60,000 children. In all, there were eleven states that “had more than 92,700 people with epilepsy. In contrast, the report found that there were 5,100 adults in Wyoming who suffered from epilepsy and 800 children.
Epilepsy Is Not Reported Often Enough
According to the president and CEO of the Epilepsy foundation, these record levels indicate that epilepsy has not been reported properly. The new research into this area shows that the number of people who suffer did not suddenly go up because of new cases, but that more of the cases of epilepsy were found and finally reported. With an increased focus on this disease thanks to the CDC, it may help to increase awareness further, and to increase reporting.
Experts such as Dr. Paul Wright told Medline Plus that there are likely more factors than just the population growth that have attributed to the record number of patients who have epilepsy. He also believes that there is better diagnosis, and there are more people who are seeking out medical help when they have problems that are exhibited from epilepsy, such as confusion.
Getting to the doctor when there is any sign of a problem is important for those who may be suffering from epilepsy. It will allow the doctor to provide a diagnosis and to get help needed. While there is not a true cure for epilepsy yet, there are methods used to treat it. These include antiepileptic drugs, as well as devices that can stimulate the brain, and surgery in some cases.
It can be difficult to live with epilepsy, but it is certainly possible. Patients need to work to get control of their seizures so they can live as full a life as possible. More research will hopefully find a cure one day.
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