17 Things Everyone Should Know About Epilepsy

15. Epilepsy is probably more common than you think.

Epilepsy is probably more common than you think.

Thomas Peter / Reuters

According to the World Health Organization, “Approximately 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, making it one of the most common neurological diseases globally.”

Many epilepsy advocacy organizations cite a startling statistic: One in 26 people will develop epilepsy in their lifetime. That number, based on a life expectancy of 80 years, “seems inaccurate because people do not talk about epilepsy even when they have it. In actuality, epilepsy is more common than Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, ALS, and cerebral palsy combined,” asserts French, the Epilepsy Foundation’s chief scientific officer.

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