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Date: 7 May 2021

Time: 18:12

Purple Day March 26 2021, supporting epilepsy around the world

Raising awareness of epilepsy

Story posted/last updated: 25 March 2021

A national campaign to raise awareness of epilepsy is taking place on Friday 26 March.

The idea is to get people thinking and talking about epilepsy which is one of the most common treatable neurological conditions. People are being urged to wear purple to show their support for the awareness day.

Almost one in 100 people in the UK is affected by the condition, with over 80 people being diagnosed every day.

Epilepsy is caused by an excessive firing of nerve cells in the brain and this electrical "discharge" results in a seizure. It can affect anyone, with and without prior history of brain injury or intellectual disability.

Seizures are treatable; two thirds of patients respond well to a single anti-epileptic medication.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham runs a regional service treating patients with epilepsy. This pathway of care starts at the front door with the acute epilepsy team supporting those who may be experiencing seizures for the first time. 

It involves a myriad of specialist services, including for pregnant women with epilepsy and those with a family history of the condition. We support those living with epilepsy in the context of a brain tumour, traumatic brain injury and intellectual disability.

Some patients undergo surgery as part of the treatment for their epilepsy and our tailored surgical programme is the largest adult programme outside London.

The Trust has a sensory room designed for those with intellectual disability and epilepsy and this was the first of its kind in the UK.

An average of three people a day dies in the UK from complications resulting from seizures.

Our aim is both to minimise these deaths and to enable those living with epilepsy to live a full life.

During the pandemic, the UHB epilepsy service carried out one of the largest patient questionnaires in the country to gauge views about consultations.

It found that 60% of patients who responded preferred telephone over video or face-to-face consultations. The service tailors its consultations to meet the needs of a diverse patient group and now has access to a telephone interpreter service to support its ethnically diverse population.

For more information about epilepsy visit the links below.

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