Here at VIVA! HQ we’ve been busily researching epilepsy and have teamed with the Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria to raise awareness for this common, chronic brain disorder.

In case you missed it, last week Team VIVA! made a call out to all cyclists to join the annual Ride4Epilepsy on September 25. The ride is just around the corner but if you haven’t registered yet there’s still time to join individually or with a team. It’s a chance to cycle alongside Franco-American Olympic medallist and six-time World Champion cyclist, Marion Clignet, and raise awareness for epilepsy.

So, what is epilepsy?
Epilepsy is the most common, chronic brain disorder affecting around 50 million people world-wide. In Australia, one-in-100 people will have epilepsy.

It’s not just one condition, but a diverse group of complex brain disorders resulting in recurrent seizures. A person who has two or more seizures has epilepsy.

What causes epilepsy?
The exact cause of epilepsy is unknown in approximately 6-out-of-10 people living with the disorder.

Some of the known causes of epilepsy are head trauma, central nervous system (CNS) infections, tumours and inherited, developmental or genetic conditions.

What do seizures look like?
A person can experience any one or more of the following common seizure types:
– Absence seizures during which a person briefly loses awareness
– Tonic-clonic seizures involving alternative stiffness and jerking
– Myoclonic seizures characterised by muscle jerks
– Partial seizures, which can cause involuntary movement or sensation in a particular part of the body.

What’s the best way to manage seizures & epilepsy?
Most people living with epilepsy can successfully minimise the affect of the disorder (including seizures) on their everyday life with a tailored epilepsy management plan that may involve:
– Taking medication as prescribed;
– Visiting a neurologist to optimally manage the disorder;
– Learning to identify and manage potential triggers for seizures;
– Keeping a seizure diary;
– Developing and maintaining a ‘seizure management plan’ so family, friends, school or workplace colleagues know what to do in the event of a seizure;
– Maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle;
– Managing risks, such as fire, water, heights, operating machinery and driving;
– Learning more about the disorder;
– Accessing available epilepsy support networks;
– Researching overseas transit and travel destinations regarding possible restrictions when travelling with medication.

For more information, visit the Epilepsy Australia or Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria or call the National Epilepsy Helpline on 1300 852 853.

1 Comment

  1. Jeremy on September 8, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Thank you Viva you are doing a great job promoting epilepsy!