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Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by recurring seizures, which are the result of abnormal activity within clusters of neurons in the brain. Rather than discharging electrical energy in a controlled manner, the brain cells continue to fire, leading to strange sensations, convulsions, muscle spasms, or loss of consciousness. Seizure types vary depending on which part of the brain is affected, and they can range from a momentary disruption of the senses to violent movements lasting several minutes.
One in 10: Number of adults who will have a seizure sometime during their life.
2 million: Estimated number of people in the U.S. with epilepsy (1%-2% of the total population).
20: Percentage of children whose seizures are due to cerebral palsy or other neurological abnormalities.
40: Percentage of acquired epilepsy cases that are caused by stroke.
500: Number of times in one second that neurons fire during a seizure. Neurons normally fire about 200 times a second.
500: Estimated number of genes that could play a role in this disorder.
80: Percentage of people with epilepsy who can control their seizures with medicine and surgery.
Written and performed by Erik Stern (far left) and hosted by the NY Alzheimer's Association, “Demolition Derby” chronicles Stern's journey through his parents' dementia.