Dear Friends and Colleagues:
The month of November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month, and the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) asks that everyone Focus on Epilepsy and how it affects the lives of the more than 215,000 New Yorkers who live with that condition.*
Epilepsy is a chronic neurological condition that causes recurring unprovoked seizures. While most think of seizures as convulsions, there are many different seizure types with many possible symptoms ranging from convulsions, isolated involuntary bodily movements, staring spells, periods of confusion, sensory experiences, and more. It is the fourth most common neurological problem after migraine, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease, and more people live with epilepsy than autism spectrum disorders, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy combined.* It is estimated that one in 26 people will develop epilepsy in their lifetime.* OPWDD currently supports more than 15,400 people with developmental disabilities who have epilepsy.
YOU can affect epilepsy by raising awareness and sharing the downloadable seizure first aid poster or telling your personal stories on social media--don’t forget to include #ENDEPILEPSY, #FOCUSONEPILEPSY and #NYSOPWDD in your social media posts!
The Epilepsy Coalition of New York State is a statewide partnership of six epilepsy service organizations listed below that provide programs and services to assist those affected by epilepsy in all NYS counties.
Epilepsy Association of Western New York: www.epilepsywny.org
Epilepsy-Pralid, Inc.: www.epiny.org
Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York: www.epilepsy.com/Northeastern-New-York
Epilepsy Society of Southern New York: www.learnaboutepilepsy.com
Epilepsy Foundation of Metropolitan New York: www.efmny.org
Epilepsy Foundation of Long Island: www.epicli.org
Focus on Epilepsy, not only in November but all year long.
Theodore Kastner, MD, MS
*According to the Epilepsy Foundation