Brainstorm: Finding a Cure for Epilepsy

This month’s Jeans Day organization is The Epilepsy Foundation of America whose mission is to support, advocate and empower all those affected by Epilepsy. This foundation also supports the research and training of pediatric Epilepsy specialists who seek to educate the general public of this life-altering disorder.

Epilepsy is notorious for reoccurring seizures, but the term Epilepsy itself actually refers to a whole group of chronic disorders. A diagnosis typically occurs when someone has had 2 ‘unprovoked’ seizures without a clear cause that can be managed, like a medical condition or withdrawal. Epileptic seizures can be related to genetics or a brain injury but often times the cause is unknown. (Sirven, MD and Shafer, RN, MN, 2014) A seizure is an abrupt, unexpected flood of electrical activity in the brain and many different things can occur during a seizure. “Whatever the brain and body can do normally can also occur during a seizure.” It is important to note that seizures themselves are not a disease.

There are many different disorders that can affect the brain and seizures are a symptom of the brain’s altered state. (Sirven, MD and Shafer, RN, MN, 2014) To learn more about Epilepsy and ways you can help The Epilepsy Foundation of America you can visit https://www.epilepsy.com/

Unfortunately, Epilepsy has hit close to home for the family of one of our employees, Stephanie Rogers. Because of this, supporting such a wonderful foundation is near and dear to FBinsure’s heart.

Stephanie’s brother-in-law, Scott, experienced his 1st seizure 9 years ago. Scott was alone in his office and had no idea what had just happened to him. Her sister immediately took him to the hospital and while en route, he experienced another seizure. The hospital did some testing and found nothing wrong and sent him on his way. Two years passed without incident until one day, it happened again. This time around the doctors placed him on medication and monitored him very closely. Unfortunately, of all the medications prescribed to Scott, none were able to control the frequency/intensity of the seizures he was experiencing.

Scott has now been formally diagnosed with Focal Cortical Dysplasia. This is a congenital abnormality of brain development where the neurons in an area of the brain failed to migrate in the proper formation in utero. This malformation is a frequent cause of Epilepsy in adults. When this Jeans Day was announced to our employees on January 7th, Scott was undergoing his 1st of 3 brain surgeries. That surgery will implant 14 electrodes into his brain.

Scott will then need to experience 3-5 seizures with these electrodes so that the neuro team can pinpoint the exact location of where the seizures are coming from in the brain. Scott will then go in for the 2nd surgery to take out the electrodes and then back one final time to remove the actual part of his brain where the seizures are coming from. The road to recovery will be a very difficult one for Scott- but with the love and support of Stephanie’s sister, his daughters and family, their family is confident that he will overcome this.

On February 2nd, 2019, the Rogers family will be a part of the Walk to END EPILEPSY at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA where they have created TEAM BLISS. Stephanie’s sister has created a Team Bliss page that you are welcome to check out to learn more about this organization and ways you can help. https://epilepsyfoundation.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=16220

Keep an eye out for all our employees wearing jeans to support the Epilepsy Foundation of America and Stephanie’s family on Friday January 25th!

Citations

Sirven, MD, J. and Shafer, RN, MN, P. (2014). What is Epilepsy?. [online] Epilepsy Foundation. Available at: https://www.epilepsy.com/learn/about-epilepsy-basics/what-epilepsy [Accessed 09 Jan. 2019].

Sirven, MD, J. and Shafer, RN, MN, P. (2014). What is a Seizure?. [online] Epilepsy Foundation. Available at: https://www.epilepsy.com/learn/about-epilepsy-basics/what-seizure [Accessed 09 Jan. 2019].