March 26 Marks Purple Day

In 2008, 9-year-old Cassidy Megan, tired of her own struggles with epilepsy and the stigma surrounding it, decided to create something that could be celebrated. She joined forces with the Epilepsy Association of the Maritimes and the Anita Kaufman Foundation to launch Purple Day internationally, with a goal of increasing visibility around the disease and celebrating and empowering those affected by it. 

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder affecting over 3-4 of every 100 people1, marked by recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance, loss of consciousness, or convulsions, sparked by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Over 71,000 individuals in Massachusetts alone are impacted by epilepsy . 

If you or someone you know experience seizures, there are some everyday triggers to watch out for. The experienced team at the SMG Epilepsy Center has provided some tips and tricks that may help mitigate the chances of a seizure from occurring: 

Stress

Stress is reported to be a seizure trigger for 2/3 of people with epilepsy. Take time to acknowledge aspects of the present moment that bring you joy.

mindful1

People with epilepsy who regularly practice mindful breathing have demonstrated a 29% reduction in seizures. Aim to practice mindful breathing once a day.

mindful2

Sleep

71% of individuals with epilepsy report sleep deprivation as a trigger for seizures, and poor sleep hygiene can cause an increase in seizure frequency and severity. Try to maintain regular, consistent sleeping hours and create a welcoming environment for sleep.

sleepenvironment

With a commitment to providing comprehensive and patient-focused evaluations, the SMG Epilepsy Center team embraces the principles of Purple Day every day of the year. The team works to ease the fear about having a seizure and the uncertainty about what this can mean for your life by doing the following:

  • Evaluating patients experiencing their first seizure
  • Providing comprehensive care of women with epilepsy, including those who are pregnant or planning a family
  • Consulting on anticonvulsant treatments
  • Managing epilepsy in the elderly
  • Accounting for cultural considerations with seizures
  • Evaluating and managing anticonvulsant-related complications

 

 

Access to St. Elizabeth’s patient centric epilepsy team is available in convenient locations near you. Locations include: St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton, SMG Multispecialty Clinic in Quincy, Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, SMG Brockton Internal Medicine in Brockton, Norwood Hospital, and Nashoba Valley Medical Center in Ayer. Appointments are available upon referral, either from a primary care physician or after an emergency room visit.

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Graphics created by Nicole Tacugue and posted with permission

Sources on Mindfulness are available here:

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1 https://www.epilepsy.com/learn/about-epilepsy-basics/who-gets-epilepsy#:~:text=About%201%20in%20100%20people,develop%20epilepsy%20in%20their%20lifetime.

2 https://www.cdc.gov/epilepsy/data/index.html

3 All sources for sleep can be found at:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK19956/
https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/sleep-hygiene
https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need
https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/caffeine-and-sleep
https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/six-tips-design-ideal-bedroom-sleep

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