Understanding epilepsy

Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain which takes the form of recurring seizures. These occur as a result of a brief disturbance in the brain's electrochemical activity. Sudden bursts of this electrochemical activity scramble the brain's messages upsetting the brain's normal control of the body. Seizures can sometimes look frightening but rarely cause any damage to the brain. Once the seizure is over, the person gradually returns to a normal state without any ill-effects. 

  • In Australia, around 250,000 people are currently diagnosed with epilepsy.
  • The cause of epilepsy for 50 per cent of people remains unknown.
  • Most people have their first seizure before the age of 20. The next most vulnerable group is the elderly; however, epilepsy can develop at any age.
  • Epilepsy is the fourth most common brain disorder after migraine, stroke and Alzheimer’s Disease.
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There are many different types of seizures. Seizures that occur in just one part of the brain are called partial seizures. Seizures that affect the whole brain are called generalised seizures. It is not uncommon for people with epilepsy to experience more than one seizure type. 

The effect that a seizure has on a person depends on which part of the brain is involved. The effects may include: 

  • An altered state of consciousness 
  • Uncontrolled body movements 
  • Alterations in sensation, perception, emotion and/or autonomic functions (e.g. pulse rate) or all of these in various combinations. 

 

References:
About Epilepsy

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How can CPL help?

Support at home 

CPL can support you with day-to-day tasks, depending on your needs, from getting ready for school, university or work, right through to mealtime assistance and medication.

Independent living

CPL provides 24/7 Supported Independent Living services, and has a number of vacancies in accessible homes.

Employment opportunities

There are a range of disability employment support options for people with epilepsy, designed to help you reach your career goals.