Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions in the world
It can affect anyone of any age, gender, race or ethnicity. It is characterised by seizures which are caused by excessive electrical activity in the brain, the effects and impact of which vary depending on which part of the brain is affected.
There are over 600,000 people in the UK with a known diagnosis of epilepsy
That’s about 1 in 103 people. In every week over 600 people are given an epilepsy diagnosis; that’s 87 each and every day. Shockingly, there are 21 epilepsy-related deaths every week in the UK.
For some, it may be as a result of a head injury, stroke, brain tumour, or in the elderly, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. In certain cases there is a genetic reason for the condition.
In 65% of epilepsy cases there is no known cause
Approximately half of the population diagnosed with epilepsy have co-existing physical or psychiatric conditions. Around 1 in every 6 people in the UK will have depression but if you have epilepsy, this rises to 1 in 3.
The cost of epilepsy on the NHS is estimated to be at least £1.5 billion annually. And there are a staggering 100,000 emergency admissions due to epilepsy each year.
Epilepsy is normally only diagnosed after at least two unprovoked seizures of unexplained origin.
There are over 40 different types of seizure and seizures are different for each individual
Whilst there are many drugs and therapies available, 30% of people live with uncontrolled seizures that do not respond to medication.
The impact on families and carers can be significant if they face the challenge of managing round-the-clock care.
Shockingly, there are 21 epilepsy related deaths every week
At ERUK, one of our priorities is to drive and enable work that investigates the causes of SUDEP and other epilepsy related deaths by identifying risk factors and developing breakthrough interventions. Read more here.
Through the incredible efforts of our supporters over the last twelve months, we are delighted that Epilepsy Research UK was able to make £1.3 million available for our 2020 grant awards.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – our research would not be possible without the generosity and commitment of our supporters. Here are some of their incredible stories.
Do something amazing today and make a donation to ERUK. Your money will go towards driving and enabling life changing, life saving research projects which help people with epilepsy.