Epilepsy

Epilepsy

Epilepsy


Epilepsy is a long-term condition affecting the brain which causes repeated seizures.
It is estimated to affect more than 500,000 (1)  people in the UK and some 1,800 people
in Northumberland(2) .

Estimates are difficult as the condition is often misdiagnosed -
20-31 per cent of diagnoses according to one source(3) are misdiagnosed.
The severity of seizures differs significantly from person to person, with some people
simply experiencing no more than an odd feeling with no loss of awareness while
others lose consciousness and have convulsions. 

Some people only have a one-off epileptic seizure during their lifetime. Better treatment and diagnosis can also
potentially make a big difference. The Joint Epilepsy Council has estimated that
over half of those diagnosed with epilepsy are completely seizure-free, but that with
better treatment and diagnosis this proportion could be as high as 70 Per cent. (4)
Epilepsy is a condition that can start at any age, but prevalence increases generally
with age 5 : an estimated 1 in 509 children under 4 have epilepsy; 1 in 140 children
under 16; 1 in 67 people aged over 65. 

There is a correlation between epilepsy and learning disability as more than one in five people with epilepsy have a learning
disability. People in more socially deprived areas are more likely to have the
condition, with prevalence 25 per cent higher in most socially deprived areas than in
the least deprived areas.

Further information:

Further information is available from the Epilepsy Society and Young Epilepsy 


1 NHS Choices (http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Epilepsy/Pages/Introduction.aspx)
2 Northumberland County Council estimate based on prevalence rate of 6.2 @ 100,000, and ONS mid-year
population estimates (Northumberland County Council, February 2017:
http://www.northumberland.gov.uk/NorthumberlandCountyCouncil/media/Northumberland-
Knowledge/Know%20bulletins/Population-and- Health-Bulletin- Jan-2017.pdf
3 Joint Epilepsy Council September 2011:
http://www.epilepsyscotland.org.uk/pdf/Joint_Epilepsy_Council_Prevalence_and_Incidence_September_11_
%283%29.pdf
4 Joint Epilepsy Council 2011.
5 Joint Epilepsy Council 2011.