Epilepsy is a chronic neurological condition that is characterized by unprovoked, recurrent seizures that disrupt communication among brain cells. The CDC estimates that 467,711 children in the United States between 0-17 years of age have epilepsy. In addition, about 1 in 26 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy at some point in their lives. Seizures and epilepsy have a serious impact on the lives of children and youth. The potentially devastating effect of epilepsy on brain development in early childhood is one of the most challenging aspects of the disorder, and childhood seizures can have a measurably negative effect on educational achievement.
The goal of eliminating seizures while preventing side effects is potentially achievable for many children and youth. However, organized systems of services are not in place to uniformly provide timely access to care that could improve the quality of life for children and youth with epilepsy.
What NICHQ is Doing
Through two projects, NICHQ has worked to improve access to comprehensive, coordinated healthcare and related services for children and youth with epilepsy.