International Epilepsy Day
Every year on the second Monday of February, International Epilepsy Day raises awareness about epilepsy. The day also focuses on epilepsy education and promotes ways to ensure all who need treatment receive it.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that is marked by episodes of sensory disturbances and convulsions called seizures. Abnormal electrical activity in the brain causes these seizures. Strokes, head injuries, genetic conditions, brain damage, and brain tumors are all known causes of the condition.
About 50 million people around the world have epilepsy. It is one of the most common neurological conditions across the globe. In some parts of the world, people with epilepsy face stigma and discrimination. Those with epilepsy may also face barriers to education and employment. Some people who have epileptic seizures are not allowed to drive or operate heavy machinery. Epilepsy can have a profound effect on one’s life in other ways. Because seizures can be unpredictable, many who have it are unable to do things, like going swimming, by themselves. This can make those with epilepsy feel isolated. The condition can also take a toll on their mental health.
With the proper diagnosis and treatment, up to 70% of people with epilepsy could live without seizures. Anti-seizure medication is relatively inexpensive. Despite this fact, about three-quarters of people with epilepsy in low-income countries do not receive the treatment they need. In many low and middle-income countries, anti-seizure medication is not widely available.
Learn more about epilepsy and the importance of treatment for those who have it.
Reach out and encourage someone you know who has epilepsy.
Share your story on social media.
Research famous people with epilepsy including Theodore Roosevelt, Danny Glover, Prince, Neil Young, and Susan Boyle.
Facts In Tweet-Size Bites
- 65 million people around the world live w/ #epilepsy
- 3.4+ million people in the U.S. live w/ #epilepsy
- 1 in 26 people in the U.S. will develop epilepsy at some point in their lifetime
- 4 to 10 out of 1,000 people on earth live w/ active #seizures at any one time
- 150,000 new cases of #epilepsy are diagnosed in the U.S. each year
- One-third of people w/ #epilepsy live w/ uncontrollable #seizures because no available treatment works for them
- For 6 out of 10 people w/ #epilepsy the cause is unknown
- Each year, more than 1 in 1,000 people with epilepsy die from sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, known as SUDEP.
- 4 out of 10 people w/ #epilepsy in the industrialized world do not receive appropriate treatment
- 8 out of 10 people w/ #epilepsy in developing nations do not receive appropriate treatment
What Is International Epilepsy Day?
Started in 2015 and organized by the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) and the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), the day provides a platform for people with epilepsy to share their experiences and stories with a global audience. The day also calls for all people to advocate for appropriate legislation that will guarantee human rights of people with epilepsy and encourages people with epilepsy to live to their fullest potential. The Epilepsy Foundation is a full member of IBE.
Epilepsy is More than Seizures