Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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Focus on Epilepsy

Focus on Epilepsy


November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month, and now is a good time to Focus on Epilepsy and how it affects the lives of the more than 215,200 New Yorkers who live with that condition.*

Epilepsy is a general term that applies to numerous nervous system disorders that result in recurrent seizures due to abnormal electrical discharges of brain cells. Seizures may cause an involuntary change in body movement or function, sensation, awareness or behavior. There are more than 20 different types of seizures. Scientific advances have made it possible to control many forms of epilepsy. As a result, most people with the condition lead normal lives.

Epilepsy 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.  See more quick facts about epilepsy here.

YOU can affect epilepsy by raising awareness by 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!

To find the organization that serves your area, please see the Epilepsy Coalition of New York State coverage map, and visit the agency website in your area for more information on epilepsy programs and services. 

Focus on Epilepsy, not only in November, but all year long.


*  According to the Epilepsy Foundation.