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Epilepsy - Be safe, reduce risk
Brainwave - The Irish Epilepsy Association, (32k)
About this leaflet: This leaflet provides information about risks associated with epilepsy and suggests ways to minimise them. Because the causes and types of epilepsy vary so much from person to person, this leaflet is intended as an introduction. click to download

Complex Partial Seizures
Brainwave - The Irish Epilepsy Association, (28k)
Complex Partial Epilepsy is so called because it arises from one area within the brain rather than the entire brain. This type of epilepsy is often referred to as Temporal Lobe Epilepsy or Psychomotor Epilepsy as the seizures more commonly arise from the temporal lobes of the brain - however, they may arise from other lobes also. click to download

Diagnosing Epilepsy
Brainwave - The Irish Epilepsy Association, (44k)
To make a diagnosis of epilepsy, it is necessary to establish a tendency to recurrent, spontaneous epileptic seizures. Many people have a single, isolated epileptic seizure at some point in their lives, but if a person has more than one, then a diagnosis of epilepsy may well be considered. click to download

Autistic Specrum Disorder (ASD) and Epilepsy
Brainwave - The Irish Epilepsy Association, (32k)
Rates of epilepsy among children and adults with autism may be higher than 30% compared with those who are neurotypical - for whom rates are 1%. It is difficult to know whether in individual instances there is a common basis for epilepsy and autism but it is accepted that children and adults who are not neurotypical or who have neurodevelopmental delay (NDD) may be at increased risk of developing seizures. click to download

Epilepsy Checklist
Brainwave - The Irish Epilepsy Association, (20k)
This checklist is designed to assist you in getting the information and support you require from your GP and from other members of the health care team and support staff. click to download

Epilepsy in Infants,Toddlers & Pre-School Children
Brainwave - The Irish Epilepsy Association, (28k)
Epilepsy is the tendency to have recurrent seizures. Recurrent is generally defined as two or more episodes. As many as 1 in 20 people will have a single isolated seizure at some point in their lives whereas 1 in 200 will subsequently be diagnosed with epilepsy. click to download

Epilepsy Surgery
Brainwave - The Irish Epilepsy Association, (20k)
Some people's epilepsy is caused by a specific structural problem in part or parts of the brain. This may have resulted from some form of head injury, occurring either at birth or in later life, or from cerebral infection, for example. It is also possible that the brain did not develop properly or there is some form of scarring, lesion or a birthmark on the brain which the person was born with. Having epilepsy surgery, which put very simply, means removing the abnormal or damaged part of the brain, may help some of these. click to download

Explaining Epilepsy to a Child
Brainwave - The Irish Epilepsy Association, (24k)
From the child's point of view it must be very confusing. He/she becomes sick. He/she is taken to a doctor. Strange people in a hospital place wires on his/her head. Afterwards he/she has to take medicine every day. Even a very young child will probably realise that something in his/her head is involved, and if his/her parents seem upset and anxious (as will likely be the case) he/she may feel that it is serious. click to download

Explaining Epilepsy
Brainwave - The Irish Epilepsy Association, (20k)
The brain is a highly complex structure of millions of nerve cells (neurons). Their activity is usually well organised and they possess mechanisms for self-regulation. The neurones in the brain are responsible for a wide range of functions including Consciousness, Awareness, Movement, Bodily Posture. A sudden temporary disruption in some or all of these functions may be termed a "seizure" or "fit". click to download

First Aid for seizures
Brainwave - The Irish Epilepsy Association, (32k)
At the start of the attack the person may cry out, usually stiffens and then falls: Their arms and legs may jerk or twitch. You will not be able to rouse them (and do not try). Seizures mostly last a few minutes, but can sometimes go on for much longer. During the seizure the person will often go blue in the face. There is nothing you can do about this until the attack is over. click to download

Nocturnal Seizures
Brainwave - The Irish Epilepsy Association, (16k)
Seizures occurring at night time are not qualitatively different from seizures, which may be present in the daytime. click to download

Photosensitive Epilepsy
Brainwave - The Irish Epilepsy Association, (20k)
Photosensitive Epilepsy (PSE) describes sensitivity to flashing or flickering lights as well as some patterns and glare. Reactions to flashing lights vary from person to person and epileptic seizures may also be provoked in people who do not have established epilepsy as well as in those who do. Only about 3-5% of people with epilepsy are photosensitive. click to download

Seizure Diary
Brainwave - The Irish Epilepsy Association, (20k)
Keeping a seizure diary can be useful as it may help a person to remember when they have had seizures, and to identify whether there are any specific triggers for the seizures. This may enable them to try to avoid any known triggers in order to reduce the frequency of seizures. click to download

Treatmenr of Epilepsy
Brainwave - The Irish Epilepsy Association, (28k)
In most cases epilepsy is treated with medication. Over the past decades new drugs for epilepsy have become available which allow many people with epilepsy to live virtually seizure free lives. However, as each individual drug is likely to be most effective in controlling only certain types of epilepsy, the accurate identification of the type of epilepsy is important for the correct choice of drug. click to download

You, your G.P. and Epilepsy
Brainwave - The Irish Epilepsy Association, (24k)
If you have concerns or queries about your epilepsy or treatment it is advisable to book some time to discuss these matters with your G.P. before your next consultant appointment. Bear in mind the G.P. or indeed the consultant may not have all the answers to every question that you may have but they can understand your concerns and are well placed to discuss them with you. click to download

Drug Treatment of Epilepsy
Brainwave - The Irish Epilepsy Association, (20k)
click to download

Entitlements and Benefits
Brainwave - The Irish Epilepsy Association, (36k)
Free Medication: All persons with epilepsy are entitled to anti-epileptic medication free of charge through the Long Term Illness Scheme. Where an applicant is eligible for the Medical Card Scheme (see below) this covers medication also. The L.T.I.S. is granted irrespective of means to all persons not entitled to a General Medical Services (GMS) Card. For the L.T.I.S. apply to your health board for a form to be completed by the applicant and a doctor/consultant. click to download

Epilepsy and Alcohol
Brainwave - The Irish Epilepsy Association, (36k)
Drinking alcohol in moderation can be an enjoyable experience. A pint of beer can satisfy a genuine thirst while a glass of wine can make a special meal more pleasurable, and a measure of spirits can be a welcome relaxant after a hard day's work. Going to the pub means contact with friends, and social life is important for everyone. click to download

Epilepsy and LIfestyle Issues
Brainwave - The Irish Epilepsy Association, (32k)
While some restrictions are necessary, adults and children with epilepsy should be encouraged to live a full life with the condition, In many instances this is achieved through the adoption of safety measures particularly in respect of activities where having a seizure would pose a risk to one's own safety or that of others. click to download

Living with sense and safety
Brainwave - The Irish Epilepsy Association, (36k)
Everyone faces potential hazards in their home. Unguarded fires, badly fused plugs, carelessness with chip pans etc, can cause accidents. Good safety procedures are important for everyone. For the person with epilepsy additional risks may exist. click to download

Sport & Leisure
Brainwave - The Irish Epilepsy Association, (24k)
Using leisure in a constructive way is important. Paid employment is becoming harder to find for everyone, and time that might formerly have been filled by working needs to be taken up by other activities. If work is not possible, then a positive use of leisure time helps to prevent an erosion of physical health and self-esteem. click to download

Taking Control of Epilepsy
Brainwave - The Irish Epilepsy Association, (24k)
Taking control of your epilepsy is an important part of managing the condition of epilepsy. In addition to taking your anti-epileptic medication there are other things you can actively do (or not do) to help reduce seizure frequency. click to download

Driving regulations
Brainwave - The Irish Epilepsy Association, (28k)
Amendments to the Road Traffic (Licensing of Drivers) Regulations 2004 became effective in November 2004. These amendments are in relation to fitness to drive cars, light vans and motorcycles for people with specific seizure types. click to download

Motor Insurance
Brainwave - The Irish Epilepsy Association, (16k)
Many people with a disability who want to begin driving, or return to driving have great difficulty in securing suitable and affordable car insurance. It would appear that many insurance companies are reluctant to insure someone with a disability, thinking that they are a greater risk as a driver. click to download

Disclosure of epilepsy
Brainwave - The Irish Epilepsy Association, (16k)
Many people with epilepsy ask how they should deal with the issue of disclosing their epilepsy in a work situation. The chart below gives some ideas on the subject. click to download

Contraception for women with epilepsy
Brainwave - The Irish Epilepsy Association, (28k)
Of all the individuals diagnosed with epilepsy in Ireland about 25% or 10,000 are women of childbearing potential. In today’s society choice is of vital importance for women, especially those affected by epilepsy. click to download

Folic Acid
Brainwave - The Irish Epilepsy Association, (20k)
If you are a woman of childbearing potential and have been diagnosed with epilepsy, it is important to be made aware of the benefits of taking folic acid. By taking the higher dose tablet of folic acid prior to conception you are reducing the risks of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. click to download

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