Down Syndrome and Epilepsy


Epilepsy is a medical term to describe when the cells in a person’s brain have a tendency to give off abnormal electrical activity. As our brains control our bodies, this abnormal electrical activity may result in the person having unusual movements or sensations (sometimes called a “seizure”). There are lots of different types of epilepsy (so some people prefer the term “the Epilepsies”) because there are lots of different ways in which the brain cell electrical activity can impact on our bodies.

It is estimated that around 1 in every 10 people who have Down’s syndrome will develop epilepsy at some point in their lives, compared to around 1 in every 100 people who do not have Down’s syndrome. Just under half of the people with Down’s syndrome who have epilepsy develop it when they are less than a year old, mainly with Epileptic Spasms, but other types of seizure can occur, most often in teens or early adult years, though they can also occur in later life.

Epilepsy occurring at any age needs medical assessment, and medicines may be offered to try and control it. 

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