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November is Epilepsy Awareness Month

November is Epilepsy Awareness Month    November is Epilepsy Awareness Month

Resources at Becker Medical Library

The oldest book that mentions epilepsy at Becker Medical Library was written by Paracelsus (1493-1541).  The book, Phisophiae ad Athenienses, drey Bucher , was published posthumously in 1564.  This book is housed in Rare Books and is part of the The Robert E. Schlueter – Paracelsus Collection.

More modern books and articles are available as well.  Current articles can be accessed from PubMed, for example articles about Epilepsy research at Washington University in St. Louis.   A variety of e-resources about epilepsy are available from our website:  E-Resources about epilepsy at Becker Medical Library   

You can learn more about the medical history of Epilepsy by checking out the book:
A Disease Once Sacred   A Disease once sacred : a history of the medical understanding of epilepsy
   by Mervyn J. Eadie and Peter F. Bladin     

 

 

Facts

  • Around 65 million people around the world and over 2 million people in the United States have epilepsy.
  • Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder in the U.S. after migraine, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • About 1 in 26 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy at some point in their lives.1
  • The color for epilepsy awareness is purple. 
  • Epilepsy has been described in the ancient Indian medical system, Ayurveda and in Babylonian medicine textbooks on clay tablets. 

Epilepsy is a general term for conditions with recurring seizures. There are many kinds of seizures, but all involve abnormal electrical activity in the brain that causes an involuntary change in body movement or function, sensation, awareness, or behavior.

Epilepsy awareness is important because people with epilepsy and their families can suffer from stigma and discrimination in many parts of the world.  People with epilepsy experience reduced access to health and life insurance, a withholding of the opportunity to obtain a driving license, and barriers to enter particular occupations, among other limitations. 3

Other Resources

1IOM (Institute of Medicine). Epilepsy Across the Spectrum: Promoting Health and Understanding. Wahsington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2012.

2Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Epilepsy http://www.cdc.gov/epilepsy/

3 World Health Organization Epilepsy Fact Sheet No. 999, October 2012.

* Please note: Becker Briefs pages may contain links, email addresses or information about resources which are no longer current.