November– National Epilepsy Awareness Month

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by Emma Dauster

The month of November is representative of many disorders, events, and objects ranging anywhere from peanut butter to adoption.  One of the most well known and common disorders November is representative for is epilepsy.

Epilepsy is a common brain disorder characterized by frequent seizures.  It is estimated that some 2.9 million people in America are troubled with this disease.  Cases of epilepsy can range from mild to extremely severe.  Epilepsy patients often experience frequent fainting, seizures, headaches, and fatigue, depending on the severity of the case.

“Living with epilepsy is easier than you might think,” said Kemp Dauster. “I have a mild case, so my symptoms are much less than someone with a severe case.  Sometimes I have headaches and I’m really tired.  I’m very lucky compared to some people.”

There are multiple treatments for epilepsy.  One of the most common treatments for young epileptic patients is a drug called Keppra.  Keppra is an anti-epileptic pharmaceutical drug that usually has a 90-100% success rate, depending on the age of the patient and the severity of the case.

“Right now, I’m on an epilepsy drug called Keppra.  I have to take it so I don’t have seizures, even though I’ve only had one,” said Dauster.  “Keppra makes me really moody and I don’t always feel good.  I have to be on another medicine called B-50, which helps me with my mood.”

There is currently no definite cure for epilepsy.  Though there are many successful treatments, no treatment has been proven to completely cure this disorder.  In Kemp’s case, epilepsy sometimes disappears on its own with treatment.

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