My name is Danielle! I’m 25 years old. I’m excited to share a little about living with epilepsy and cerebral palsy. I have been living with epilepsy for nine years and cerebral palsy my whole life. I live in New Hampshire, I love the mountains, and I’m currently an advocate for epilepsy and love being a voice for people with disabilities!
What is epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a chronic, noncommunicable disease of the brain with many possible causes. Causes may include illness, brain damage, or even abnormal brain development. However, according to the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons, 60-70% of people with epilepsy have no known cause.
How common is epilepsy?
According to the CDC, 1.2% of the United States population is known to have active epilepsy. This is about 3.9 million people with epilepsy in the United States.
According to a journal article published in Epilepsia, “Epilepsy is one of the most common neurologic conditions in the world. This research team conducted a meta-analytic approach to available data on active epilepsy cases and determined that globally a more accurate number [than the one currently utilized by the WHO] is 68 Million. This data has since been referenced in JAMA Neurology, 2018.
What is Cerebral Palsy
The symptoms of CP vary from person to person. A person with severe CP might need to use special equipment to be able to walk, or might not be able to walk at all and might need lifelong care. A person with mild CP, on the other hand, might walk a little awkwardly, but might not need any special help. CP does not get worse over time, though the exact symptoms can change over a person’s lifetime.
All people with CP have problems with movement and posture. Many also have related conditions such as: intellectual disability; seizures; problems with vision, hearing, or speech; changes in the spine (e.g. scoliosis); or joint problems (e.g. contractures).