We generally expect illnesses and apathy in people who are older

Although epilepsy may begin at any time in the course of a person’s life, typically epilepsy diagnoses occur during childhood and especially in the beginning of the year – about 140 out of 100,000 infants less than the age of one are diagnosed with epilepsy each year. The number drops to around 40 adults for every 100,000. Recent reports have revealed that epilepsy has been increasing among older adults which account for about a quarter percent of new diagnosis according to a study from the National Society for Epilepsy. Epilepsy is twice as common among older individuals than for the overall population.

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It could be more frequent than what is recorded since a portion of it is likely to go unnoticed. The diagnosis of epilepsy in older adults can be a challenge. Most of the time, seizures aren’t severe and while this is an excellent sign of controlling them, it can be a sign that it’s hard to recognize them for what they really are. Aunt Alice’s daydreaming, or Gran’s “funny turns” may be part of the folklore of your family and are certainly not considered as a reason to conduct a medical examination.

We generally expect illnesses and apathy in people who are older in the normal course of things. But, epilepsy that occurs in later life might be one of the most avoidable manifestations of the disease. The more we age the more susceptible we become to less health and fitness. However epilepsy, specifically, in an older person is typically caused by cerebrovascular disease that results in small scars on the brain. The risk of developing epilepsy in people who are older could be reduced by paying care for their lifestyle, which includes regular exercise, healthy diet as well as not smoking and drinking alcohol in moderate amounts. Being aware of your lifestyle can help individuals of any age attain better control of seizures and improve overall health and can also stop the epilepsy from getting worse as you the advancing years.

Epilepsy is distributed almost equally between males and females, although some epilepsy disorders occur predominantly in females. Epilepsy is a little more prevalent among males and there are many reasons for this to be the case. One reason is that males are more susceptible to suffering head injuries as well as brain infections. A different theory suggests that brains of girls and boys babies are different in the womb, due to gender differences in hormones for sex. The brain develops faster in female babies than male ones, which means it is believed that females are more prone to the perinatal anoxia (lack of oxygen in the first few days of the time of birth) that can cause damage to the brain cells that are developing. The Y chromosome that causes maleness in newborn babies slows development , which means that boys have 2 to 3 weeks behind in their maturation rate than girls, which makes them more prone to injuries. This risk persists throughout adulthood.

A study revealed that in women, 50 percent of the chance of developing epilepsy had passed when they reached 19 but in males the risk was lower until they reached the age of at the age of 24. The risk of developing epilepsy is believed to surpass men’s bigger brain size. Another study found how the brains of males and women are same size after 100 years old, after they have both shrunk enough for them to be comparable! There is some evidence to suggest that the prognosis, or outlook, is significantly worse for women and it’s been suggested that this could be because the brains of women are stronger which is why a more severe event is required to trigger epilepsy. In reality the majority of these distinctions are not significant – yet every person suffering from epilepsy is a unique situation, and should be treated as such.

Despite its widespread incidence, epilepsy is considered to be the “Cinderella” of health care is not a major source of research funds – out of the annual PS2 billion budget for medical research just PS336,000 goes to epilepsy. This is lower than PS1 per epilepsy sufferer which is not a good comparison with for instance the PS250 for a person with muscular dystrophy or PS140 for people with multiple sclerosis.

An examination of recent health administrators in the UK revealed that just 5 percent had established the standards for services for epilepsy. However, this is likely to be changing as epilepsy gains more public attention and media coverage and is currently occurring – over the last few years. as per the National Society for Epilepsy, epilepsy has been a ‘interesting topic as studies on genetics and the latest brain scanning methods provide more insight into epilepsy.