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Brooklyn chief of neurology educates public on National Epilepsy Awareness Day

Dr. Helen Valsamis says 1 in 10 people will have a seizure over the course of their lifetime and that half of them will develop the brain condition.

Faith Graham and News 12 Staff

Nov 17, 2023, 5:41 PM

Updated 242 days ago

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News 12 sat down with the chief of neurology at Kings County Hospital to discuss National Epilepsy Awareness Day.
Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders and does not discriminate. It impacts people of all ages around the world.
The disorder is characterized by recurring abnormal electrical brain activity that causes seizures. Dr. Helen Valsamis says 1 in 10 people will have a seizure over the course of their lifetime and that half of them will develop the brain condition.
"Even just one seizure a year significantly impacts quality of life. And we used to think we were doing great. Someone went from five seizures a day to one seizure a year, and the answer is no it's not good enough," Valsamis said.
Valsamis treats patients for the disorder at Kings County Hospital in their neuoscience center through medications, surgery and therapy.
Symptoms of seizures brought on by epilepsy can include confusion, staring, jerking muscles and stiffness. If you notice someone having one, here is what experts say you should do.
"You want to get them to a safe place which is usually the ground but also make sure they're not on a radiator or something where they can get injured. Then you want to ideally turn the head a little bit to the side so that if they have any secretions they can get them out, and then that's it. Watch them and make sure they are not hitting anything," said Valsamic.
Each year, the month of November is dedicated to educating people and breaking the stigma.


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