Are seizure disorders serious?

Advertisement
Advertisement

Yes, seizure disorders, also known as epilepsy, are serious, but people with epilepsy often respond well to treatment. However, sometimes epilepsy can have life-threatening implications because the symptoms put people with epilepsy in danger. For example, if a person with epilepsy has a major seizure and loses consciousness, they may be at increased risk for serious or fatal injuries associated with falling, or perhaps experiencing a car accident if they are driving. In some cases, epilepsy itself can be life-threatening. For example, a condition called status epilepticus causes abnormally long seizures that last over five minutes. Every year, about 195,000 Americans experience status epilepticus and about 42,000 die as a result. In about 60 percent of the people with status epilepticus, it is their first seizure and it is often the result of traumatic injury to the brain or a brain tumor. Immediate emergency care is important in the case of prolonged seizure because of the risk of death. Aside from status epilepticus, some people with epilepsy are at increased risk of dying suddenly without an obvious cause. This is known as sudden unexplained death. Doctors and scientists are not sure why people with some types of epilepsy are at increased risk of sudden unexplained death, but some think it may have something to do with the effect of seizures on the heart.

Continue Learning about Epilepsy & Seizures

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.