The Official Student News Site of Orono High School

The Spartan Speaks

The Official Student News Site of Orono High School

The Spartan Speaks

The Official Student News Site of Orono High School

The Spartan Speaks

Letter to the Editor: We Should Talk About Epilepsy


Today, I want to discuss Epilepsy and SUDEP. Epilepsy, as many people know, is a lifelong neurological disease for some people; it is also scientifically defined as abnormal electrical coordination in the brain; there are more than 200,000 people in the US diagnosed each year; there are treatments, however. Currently, it can’t be cured, but hopefully, sometime shortly, people can find a cure.

Another thing I want to talk about is SUDEP, which is very depressing. It stands for Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy. According to CURE Citizens United Research in Epilepsy, over 3,000 people die from SUDEP each year.

However, there are many different types of seizures, such as tonic seizures, which is the type I have, which are currently and hopefully permanently not active; during the seizure, my right arm and leg would jerk out, and I would not pay much attention, after a minute, I would come back to reality, and back in one time in November and December I had a focal seizure, where I vaguely remember a thing, I do remember my mom shouting my name, and I gasped for air, and panicking. The most likely reason I was gasping for air is because of some seizures, such as the one I was having in December, a focal seizure; your body releases air from the lungs, which is terrible but not as bad as some other seizures.

Some people’s seizures can be controlled with medicine. For those people who have epilepsy, the most common reason for “breakthrough seizures” (which are seizures breaking through the meds), according to the Epilepsy Foundation of America, is people not taking their meds as prescribed. So, people on medication should take their meds.

In conclusion, here are some things people can do to help others with epilepsy. If someone is having a seizure, you should turn them on their side. A bed is a safe place, but if that’s not available, you can find a safe place for them to sit down. Stay with them, or at least have one person do so. If the seizure is more than 5 minutes, give them their emergency medicine, if they have it, or call 911.

Thank you for reading my article.

Everett A. Forbes, Grade 12

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