February 13 is International Epilepsy Day

News Release
For Immediate Release: 2/13/2023

Alycia Davis, (402) 471-1449,

Lincoln – International Epilepsy Day is celebrated each year on the second Monday of February. This awareness day is dedicated to uplifting individuals and families affected by epilepsy while also educating the public.

“There are many different types of epilepsy, some are a result of a genetic disorder or a brain injury. Throughout the state of Nebraska, over 26,000 individuals are living with epilepsy," said Tony Green, Director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities. “By spreading awareness and promoting education about epilepsy, we can work together to build a strong, supportive, and inclusive community."

Epilepsy is a brain condition that affects children and adults of all demographics. The main symptom is seizures. Symptoms of a seizure are different from person to person, but some symptoms can include blank staring, jerking movements of the arms and legs, stiffening of the body, loss of consciousness, nodding head rhythmically, periods of rapid eye blinking, and staring. After a seizure, it is common for the individual to be tired or confused.

If you encounter someone having a seizure, here are some things you can do to help:

  • Help the person into a safe position, turn them to their side, cushion their head, and time the seizure.
  • Never hold them down or force anything into their mouth.
  • Comfort the person and speak calmly, and help others remain calm.
  • Check to see if the person is wearing a medical bracelet or has other visible emergency information and stay with them until they are awake and alert.
  • If the seizure lasts longer than five minutes or the person doesn't return to their original state, call 911.
  • If they return to their original state and say that they are fine, offer to call or coordinate a ride to make sure the person gets home safely.

Individuals with epilepsy and seizures experience multiple daily challenges, including mood changes, sleep, memory issues, and social or financial concerns. There are multiple support groups and programs across Nebraska for patients, family members, and friends that provide opportunities to share personal experiences, hear what others have learned, and meet doctors and social workers with experience in treating individuals with epilepsy.

The lack of information surrounding the condition creates more obstacles for individuals in the epilepsy community. This awareness day is a time to build awareness through advocacy. Protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities, promoting education about epilepsy, and sharing personal stories and challenges affecting the epilepsy community using #EpilepsyDay are all ways that you can raise awareness and seek positive change.

Resources available in Nebraska:

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