7 Facts About Epilepsy in the U.S.


    How many Americans have epilepsy?

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    3.4 million Americans, or 1.2 percent of the population, had epilepsy as of 2015, the most on record. (Source: CDC)

    What U.S. states have the most and the fewest adults with active epilepsy?

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    California has the most with 367,900. Wyoming has the fewest with 5,100. (Source: CDC)

    How many children in the U.S. have been diagnosed with epilepsy?

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    470,000 children were diagnosed with epilepsy as of 2015, according to the CDC.

    How many types of epileptic seizures are there?

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    There are at least 30 known seizure types, according to the CDC. If one lasts longer than five minutes or if the person is injured during his or her seizure, it should be considered an emergency and 911 should be called.

    What are the three classifications of epileptic seizures?

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    According to the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), the three main types are focal onset (originating on one side of the brain), general onset (involve both sides of the brain) and unknown onset.

    What is active epilepsy?

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    According to the CDC, active epilepsy is a seizure disorder diagnosed by a physician. In general, patients with active epilepsy have had a seizure within the past year and/or take anti-seizure medication.

    What is cryptogenic epilepsy?

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    It is epilepsy with no diagnosed cause. It also is known as idiopathic epilepsy. The cause remains undiagnosed for two-thirds of all epilepsy patients.

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    Carter Gaddis is a journalist and digital content specialist whose work has appeared in the Tampa Tribune, on the TODAY Show's parents and healthcare pages, and many other print and online publications.