This week on Your Health First, Dr. Jeremy Slater, and expert in managing patients with epilepsy,  will join Dr. Galati and discuss this very important, and sometimes misunderstood condition.
 
Epilepsy is a neurological condition caused by sudden brief changes in the brain's electrical balance. When there are excess electrical discharges in the brain, seizures occur. Seizures can alter awareness, physical movements, consciousness or actions. Seizures generally last from a few seconds to a few minutes.
Epilepsy is often called a "seizure disorder." Both terms are used to describe recurring seizures.
 
Epilepsy is not a disease, mental illness or a sign of low intelligence. It is not contagious. Epilepsy is generally a chronic and/or lifelong condition.
 
When epilepsy develops
A person could have a seizure at any time during his or her life. In fact, it is estimated that 1 in 10 people will have a seizure during his or her life time. Approximately 1 in 2 percent of the population has epilepsy/seizure disorders. About one-third of the 186,000 cases diagnosed each year occur in childhood. However, senior citizens are increasingly diagnosed with epilepsy/seizure disorders.
Treatment
The most common treatment for epilepsy/siezure disorders is antiepileptic medications. Many people with epilepsy are able to control their seizures with medications. However, the side effects of medications can be severe, and some people with epilepsy do not respond well to medications and have little or no control of seizures. In some individuals, surgery can also be used to treat epilepsy/seizures disorders.
 
The Epilepsy Foundation offers numerous programs for those with the condition.  The Epilepsy Foundation TX award winning camping programs provides youth with epilepsy a safe, structured and encouraging home away from home for 7 days and 6 nights. Staff includes Foundation personnel, pediatric neurologists, experienced camp counselors and registered nurses.
Camp Spike 'n' Wave® - is for children with epilepsy ages 8-14 and is held at Camp For All in Burton, Texas
Kamo Kaleidoscope® - is for teens with epilepsy ages 15-19 and is held at Collon County Adventure Camp in Anna, Texas
 
Weekend Retreats
Wacky Winter Weekend- is designed for youth with epilepsy and their siblings ages 6 to 14. This weekend is designed for Spike 'n' Wave® campers to reunite with friends, to give first time campers a glimpse of summer camp, and siblings the opportunity to experience camp.
Almost Paradise Weekend- provides families the opportunity to get-a-way from everyday stresses 
and meet other families who share similar experiences.
Adverture Get-A-Way & Great Escape Adult Retreat Weekends- offers adults the opportunity to spend a weekend away daily life and meet others who share similar experiences.