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Learn more about epilepsy

Sunday, January 9, 2011

To the Editor:

More than 3 million Americans have epilepsy or a seizure disorder.

I am one of thousands of volunteers working to raise awareness of this terrible condition.

Epilepsy is common, but many people know little about it or what to do when someone is having a seizure. That's why the Epilepsy Foundation is asking everyone to take the "Get Seizure Smart!," quiz.

A copy of the quiz is available at www.GetSeizureSmart.org. As someone affected by epilepsy, I strongly encourage everyone to take the quiz. My life, or that of a loved one, may depend on it.

In addition, I am the coordinator for the Indiana Brain Injury Association's Wabash Valley Support Group.

The purpose and function of the Indiana Brain Injury Association is to reduce the incidence and effects of brain injury. We hope to ensure that people with brain injuries and their families are served, understood, empowered and supported so they can live full and meaningful lives.

An estimated 1.5 million Americans suffer a brain injury a year, more than 50,000 of those will die as a result of their brain injury. A total of 3.17 million Americans (1 percent of the population) live with long-term disabilities resulting from a brain injury. Forty-four percent of brain injuries are the result of an auto accident.

More than 200,000 children a year are hospitalized as the result of a brain trauma and 50,000 of those are the result of a bicycle accident. Thirty thousand of the children who suffer a brain injury will live with a permanent disability, and 400 of the children will die.

The number of brain injuries each year and the number of individuals who suffer from epilepsy are shocking.

It is the goal of both the Brain Injury Association and the Epilepsy Foundation to make the American public more aware of these statistics.

Sincerely,

David Kuhn,

Terre Haute