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Epilepsy & Seizure Training Workshop

with Tracy Shultz, Director of Education at the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago

Written by Nikita Mehta

On November 24th, Tracy Schultz, the director of the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago, delivered a compelling talk on seizure recognition and first aid. She covered a wide range of topics including common causes of epilepsy, the difference between generalized seizures and partial seizures, triggers that may induce seizures, epilepsy treatment, the impact of seizures on behavior and learning, and how to recognize when a seizure is an emergency. 

Seizures occur when neuronal activity is temporarily disrupted in the brain -- this interruption in electrical activity usually affects sensation, behavior, awareness or movement. There are more than twenty documented types of seizures; most of these seizures occur episodically and for short periods of time. Interestingly, 1/10 people will have a seizure in their lifetime, and 1/100 people will end up developing epilepsy. These statistics emphasize the prevalence of seizures (most of which are not emergencies) and the importance of knowing how to handle seizures in a calm, germane manner. The chart below from the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago highlights the key steps that should be taken in the event of a seizure: 

Seizures and epilepsy can have a significant impact on students academically - both in how they perform and how they are evaluated. It is critically important on a college campus to understand these effects and to implement a seizure action plan in the school setting. We especially want to thank all the students, UCPD officers, and other members of the university who came out to this event to take a step forward in understanding seizures and epilepsy to create a safer and more knowledgeable campus community.
Nikita is a first year majoring in Biological Sciences. She is a first year board member of Axis UChicago.
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