How common is epilepsy?

brain illustration

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions in the world.

People with epilepsy often experience seizures or fits which are caused by excessive electrical activity in the brain.

There are many different types of seizure, and each causes a different set of symptoms. The type of seizures experienced by people with epilepsy may be different from one person to the next.

Some people may experience seizures that cause their body to jerk or shake, whilst others may lose awareness of their surroundings and stare blankly into space.

No matter which symptoms are experienced, an epilepsy diagnosis can be life-changing.

Depending on the severity of the symptoms experienced, people with epilepsy may find that the condition impacts their learning, employment, and quality of life.

To help those with epilepsy to feel safe and continue to live an independent life, as many people as possible must understand the condition and know what to do if someone is having a seizure.

How common is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a very common neurological condition that affects 65 million people worldwide and, according to Epilepsy Action, around 600,000 people in the UK.

Around 87 people a day are diagnosed with epilepsy in the UK.

Because of how common the condition is, it can be beneficial, and even life-saving for as many people as possible to have a good understanding of the condition and what to do if someone is experiencing a seizure.

Organisations that employ or work with people with epilepsy should ensure that staff have adequate training in the condition.

Who is more likely to have it?

Epilepsy can affect anyone, no matter what your age, race, or ethnicity. Some people may be diagnosed with epilepsy when they are very young, whilst others may not develop it until they reach old age.

Whilst anyone can get epilepsy, the condition tends to be more common in:

  • Children.
  • The elderly.
  • Those that have suffered traumatic brain injuries.

Epilepsy in children and the elderly

Epilepsy can occur for different reasons. Some people are more genetically disposed to epilepsy than others and show signs of the condition very soon after birth, others acquire epilepsy during their lifetime due to illness, injury, or old age.

One in every four people newly diagnosed with epilepsy are aged over 65 and about 1 in every 220 children have epilepsy.

Some health conditions that can cause epilepsy include head injury, stroke, brain tumour, and neurogenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

However, for many people with epilepsy, there is no known cause.

Epilepsy after a brain injury

Those that suffer traumatic brain injuries may start to experience seizures immediately after the injury or in the days or weeks that follow. Sometimes the seizures disappear as the injury heals.

Others may find that they don’t begin experiencing seizures until after the injury has healed, these seizures can be caused by scarring to the brain. This type of epilepsy is called post-traumatic epilepsy.

Epilepsy training with CBAT

Educating people in epilepsy and how to care for people with the condition is a small investment that can have a huge impact on the health and wellbeing of those that suffer from the condition.

Here at Care Business Associate Training, we run a 3-hour online training session in epilepsy. The session is suitable for anyone who cares for people with the condition.

Some key areas that our epilepsy training covers are:

  • Different types of epilepsy and the symptoms of the condition.
  • Epilepsy treatments.
  • How to use the epilepsy medication Buccal Midazolam.
  • Epilepsy first aid.
  • Epilepsy care plans.
  • Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy.

Our professional epilepsy training course is run by experts with plenty of practical experience working in the health and social care sector. We are CPD accredited and Qualsafe certified.

We run online training sessions using Zoom video software and advanced online classroom technology, providing a live learning experience that is engaging, informative, and interactive.

Investing in epilepsy training equips individuals with the skills and knowledge they require to act swiftly and confidently to provide potentially life-saving first aid to a person experiencing an epileptic seizure.

Book a place on our epilepsy training course online or find out more information about the course by speaking to our team on 01772 816 922 or by emailing