November Epilepsy Awareness Month
by Sarah Fay Campbell
November is Epilepsy Awareness Month in Coweta County.
The Coweta County Board of Commissioners at its meeting on Oct. 15 executed a proclamation designating November for the county observance.
"Bringing awareness to epilepsy is very difficult," said Lisa Millard Webster, who appeared at the meeting. Webster had brain surgery in 1997, and hasn't had a seizure since, but "that is not a cure for most," she said. "What you are doing for us is wonderful."
Georgia has about 99,000 people who have epilepsy, according to Claudia Woodruff. The condition affects at least 1 percent of the population.
The Epilepsy Foundation is the only organization that represents those with epilepsy, Woodruff said. According to the proclamation, epilepsy is the third most common neurological disorder among adults, after Alzheimer's disease and strokes.
Epilepsy is characterized by recurrent, unprovoked seizures, and epilepsy and seizures affect three million Americans. Roughly 10 percent of the American population will experience a seizure in their lifetimes, and 3 percent will develop epilepsy by age 75.
There is no cure for epilepsy, but many diagnosed with the condition can control seizures with modern medication and surgery.
However, people with epilepsy continue to face social stigma and discrimination. The proclamation reads that the Coweta County Board of Commissioners "urges all citizens to learn more about the symptoms and treatment of seizures to better understand epilepsy, and the many individuals, families and communities epilepsy impacts."