November is Epilepsy Awareness Month
WVU Hospitals will hold monthly support and informational meetings

The WVU Epilepsy Center will host monthly support and informational meetings on epilepsy beginning in November.  The first meeting is Nov. 28 from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Physician Office Center at Ruby Memorial Hospital. 

The meetings are a way for people in the community to learn more about epilepsy.  The meetings are also an opportunity for people to talk to others who may be dealing with epilepsy themselves or are a caregiver for someone who has epilepsy. 

“Epilepsy is, in fact, common,” said Warren Boling, M.D. associate professor of neurosurgery at WVU and director of the surgery section for epilepsy.  “The statistics are not completely known, but in some parts of the U.S. more than one in 1,000 people may have epilepsy.”

National Epilepsy Awareness Month is way to educate people about the disease and reduce the stigma that is sometimes still attached to it. 

“People are afraid of the unknown.” Dr. Boling said.  “So it’s important to educate people about the disease in general but also in case they ever need to help someone who is having a seizure.”

If someone does witness another person having a seizure, it’s important to make sure the environment is safe and any objects that could pose a danger are removed.  Also, the person having the seizure should not be restrained nor have anything put in their mouth.  It’s a myth that you should hold the person’s tongue during a seizure.   
“There is great potential for people who have epilepsy to live a normal life,” Boling said. 

WVU offers a full range of services, including an in-patient epilepsy monitoring unit that allows doctors to record and view a patient having a seizure.  This technology helps doctors diagnose the patient accurately. 

Drug therapy will control the epilepsy in the majority of people.  If medicine is not effective, surgery could be another treatment option for some people.

The support and informational meetings on epilepsy will be held the last Wednesday of every month (except holidays) on the third floor of the Physician Office Center, conference room 3-A.

For more information on the meetings or the services offered at the WVU Epilepsy Center, call Daunice Lohr, R.N., Epilepsy Care Coordinator at WVU Hospitals, at (304) 598-4852. 

Visit the WVU Epilepsy Center online at http://www.health.wvu.edu/services/epilepsy-center/index.html.

- WVU -

For more information:
Emily Corio, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087
ec: 10-30-07

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