You’ve just received an epilepsy diagnosis. Now what?
If you have epilepsy, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to help keep your seizures under control. An epilepsy expert at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center explains.
Whether you’ve just received a diagnosis of epilepsy or have been managing symptoms for years, it can feel overwhelming to deal with this chronic condition.
But there’s a path forward — and you don’t have to travel it alone.
At Ohio State’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, our entire team is determined to help you minimize or eliminate seizures to give you the upper hand.
We’ve earned the status of being a Level 4 epilepsy center — the highest rating possible — from the National Association of Epilepsy Centers, which means we offer the most advanced medical and surgical epilepsy care. At the same time, we offer the ongoing resources and support you need to keep moving forward as you age and take on new challenges or even receive a diagnosis for a different medical condition.
We don’t want epilepsy to define you, but we do want to make sure your epilepsy treatment is considered and factored into other aspects of your health and well-being, both mental and physical.
It’s why we’ve created an epilepsy program that treats the whole person, with care coordinated between you and an entire team of specialists. From our epileptologists and clinical neurophysiologists– neurologists who’ve had one or two years of additional training in epilepsy – and advanced practice nurses to our nutritionists, pharmacists, social workers, neurosurgeons, and neuroradiologists - every team member at Ohio State’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center will work together to make sure you receive the coordinated care you need for the best possible health and most positive outlook.
The simplest description of epilepsy is that it’s a condition in which abnormal brain activity causes seizures. The abnormal brain activity begins with chemical changes in clusters of nerve cells or neurons in the brain that become very hyperexcitable. This imbalance in communication then leads to surges of electrical activity in the brain – which is what starts a seizure.
The International League Against Epilepsy has developed new terms to describe and classify seizures based on where in the brain the seizures start, what level of awareness a person has during their seizure and what types of movement or motor symptoms occur. The three major groupings are:
If you have epilepsy, you may feel quite alone – but you’re not. In fact, epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder. Approximately 3.4 million Americans live with active epilepsy, and around 150,000 new cases are diagnosed nationally every year. While people can be diagnosed at any age, epilepsy is most commonly identified in childhood or after age 65, and one in 26 people in the United States will develop epilepsy in their lifetime.
Yet even though there are millions of other people with epilepsy, we understand that doesn’t really give you much comfort when it’s your life that’s being interrupted by seizures.
At Ohio State’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, we’re determined to help you gain an advantage over epilepsy using a full range of the latest diagnostic tools and treatments. Because abnormal brain activity can be triggered in so many different ways, finding and treating those triggers is the key to claiming more control over your seizures.
We recognize the unique needs of some of our patients with epilepsy. We’re committed to providing innovative and customized care to support unique groups of patients. Within our epilepsy care, we offer: