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Purple Day – Get Involved in Raising Epilepsy Awareness
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Purple Day – Get Involved in Raising Epilepsy Awareness

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Highlights:
  • Purple Day for epilepsy awareness is observed worldwide on the 26th March to raise awareness about epilepsy, support persons with epilepsy and raise funds for the campaign and epilepsy research
  • Epilepsy is a neurological disorder marked by sudden excess electrical discharge in the brain cells resulting in seizures, and the cause remains unclear in about half the cases
  • It is estimated that currently, over 50 million persons worldwide are living with epilepsy. Presently, there is no cure for epilepsy although symptoms can be successfully controlled with medications that prevent seizures

Purple Day for epilepsy is observed annually on the 26th March to raise awareness about epilepsy, dispel associated myths and misconceptions, support people with epilepsy lead productive lives and raise money for epilepsy research.

History of Purple Day for Epilepsy

Purple Day was founded by a young Canadian girl, Cassidy Megan in 2008 who herself struggled with seizures and wanted people all over the world to come together to educate and raise awareness about this disease and reassure persons with epilepsy they were not alone in their struggles. The purple color was chosen because internationally epilepsy is symbolized by the lavender flower.

Recently, the International League against Epilepsy named epilepsy as a disease rather than a disorder to let people realize that it is a serious medical condition that has to be treated appropriately.

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Purple Day – Get Involved in Raising Epilepsy Awareness

What We Can Do to Raise Epilepsy Awareness

  There are many things we the general population can do to educate and spread awareness about epilepsy and make a difference in the lives of persons living with epilepsy. 
  • Use social media such as Twitter and Facebook to post educative and inspiring messages about epilepsy
  • Download messages and posters from the official website and share extensively on social media
  • Make a personal contribution or raise funds to support the awareness campaign and epilepsy research
  • Organize fundraising events in the community through the sale of purple themed stuff such as mugs, bracelets, tee shirts, purple-themed treats and other trinkets
  • Organize a Purple Day marathon or walkathon to raise epilepsy awareness
  • Raise money online by selling purple themed stuff online and donate the proceeds to support the campaign and epilepsy research
  • Wear purple on 26th March to show your solidarity for the campaign or decorate your office or workspace in purple
  • Distribute information leaflets on epilepsy in prominent locations in the community such as malls, parks and libraries
  • Get experts to discuss epilepsy and dispel misconceptions on visual media and the radio
  • Newspapers and print media should dedicate space for articles and inspiring stories about persons with epilepsy to raise awareness and remove associated stigma
  • Hospitals and clinics should display prominent messages about epilepsy and available resources to treat and prevent seizures. A free checkup can be offered to the public to encourage patients to seek medical attention
  • If you are suffering from epilepsy consult a doctor and take treatment and precautions as advised. You can join a support group to share your experiences and learn from other's experiences

Epilepsy Facts & Figures

  • Epilepsy is not a condition but a feature of several diseases that have one thing in common, namely the tendency to suffer seizures
  • Statistics estimate that 1 in 100 persons suffers from epilepsy
  • In more than half the cases, the cause remains unclear and currently, there is no cure
  • Epilepsy can occur at any age but often starts in childhood or develops in the elderly
  • Symptoms are highly variable ranging from brief spells of staring into space to generalized convulsions which put the person at increased risk of injury
  • Epilepsy is diagnosed by doing an electroencephalogram (EEG) test to record brain wave patterns to detect any abnormalities. Imaging tests may be done including CT scans and MRI to detect any treatable cause
  • Epilepsy can be very well treated with medications Some persons may benefit from vagal nerve stimulation or following a ketogenic diet. Other measures include relaxation, yoga and meditation, reflexology and biofeedback techniques

What to Do When You See a Person Having a Generalized Seizure?

Stay calm and don't panic. Make the person lie down on his side to prevent aspiration of salivary secretions. Importantly, don't try giving water or anything by mouth. Keep the person away from sharp objects. Time the seizures and if the seizures last more than five minutes, or repeated seizures call for medical help. Stay with the person unless he/she becomes conscious and alert and reassure them.

Summary

Purple Day for epilepsy awareness is observed annually on the 26th March to educate the general public and to support persons with epilepsy. Let us get involved and make a difference.

References :
  1. Purple Day, 26 March - (https://www.epilepsysociety.org.uk/)
  2. What is epilepsy? - (https://www.epilepsysociety.org.uk/what-epilepsy#.XJh6e_0zbIU)
  3. About Epilepsy- (http://www.purpleday.org/aboutepilepsy)


Source: Medindia
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