November is Epilepsy Awareness Month. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, 1 in 10 people will experience a seizure throughout their life, and 1 in 26 will develop epilepsy bringing the total to 3.4 million Americans living with this condition. Epilepsy can be defined as a “chronic condition of the brain that affects people worldwide. It is characterized by recurring seizures, which are physical reactions to sudden, brief, excessive electrical discharges in brain cells.
Anyone, anywhere, at any time, can have a seizure. Because a seizure can have many underlying causes or even no cause at all, the diagnostic process for epilepsy can sometimes take a while. To test for epilepsy, screenings that include a neurological exam, blood tests, CT scan, and various MRIs will be conducted along with an evaluation of current symptoms and medical history.
If you or a loved one are diagnosed with epilepsy, a full life is still possible. Steps for prevention as well as management are available for those living with this condition.
Living in a world without epilepsy is the hope for all who are building awareness and fighting against this condition. For anyone looking to support this cause or in need of resources, we have rounded up a list of places in New Jersey doing just that.
Clayton’s Hope Organization Annual Steps for Seizures 5K Walk has turned virtual this year. Walkers can join in from where they are this November 27-29th to take steps in honor of Clayton’s life. Clayton, whom this organization is named after, was a joyful little boy who lost his battle to epilepsy in 2012. All funds raised from this event will support epilepsy research. Prizes will be awarded for the 2 largest teams and 2 teams who have raised the most donations. To create a team, register, and support, click here.
Epilepsy Services New Jersey | 50 Millstone Road, East Windsor
Epilepsy Services of New Jersey, an affiliate of The Family Resource Network, is a state-wide, non-profit charitable agency dedicated to improving the quality of life for people affected by epilepsy and their loved ones. Additionally, they are advocates for Paul’s Law, which Governor Murphy signed into action to ensure a safe school environment for children with epilepsy. Epilepsy Services of New Jersey is always in need of volunteers, donations, and advocates. To learn more about this organization and all the ways to support it, visit the website.
Epilepsy Foundation of New Jersey | 1 AAA Drive, Trenton
The Epilepsy Foundation of New Jersey is an affiliate of the National Epilepsy Foundation. The mission is simple: to help those with seizures live a full life and participate in all life experiences. Through services, education, advocacy, and research, this foundation can build awareness for this condition and help fight it. Follow this link for more information on the epilepsy foundation and other mental health services in our area.
University Hospital Epilepsy Center | Newark
This center offers patients a range of diagnostic services, treatment options, and education from a highly educated medical staff. Additionally, the Center provides care outside of epilepsy, including mental health support, nutrition, rehabilitation, and more. Health professionals here are on the breaking edge of epilepsy research by developing drugs and conducting clinical trials. Find out if you or your loved one qualifies for the services offered here.
In addition to the epilepsy center with medical and research services, support groups for multiple ages are available. Experiencing a condition such as epilepsy can become lonely and scary, but support and hearing stories of others can help. The adult epilepsy support group meets on the third Tuesday of every other month from 5 PM to 7 PM. For more information on the location and the next meeting date, contact the University Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at (973) 972-3174.
The University Hospital also provides a pediatric epilepsy support group for family and friends of pediatric epilepsy patients. Support in areas such a social interaction for children, choice of schooling, medication, special diet, and more are given. Call the University center at (973) 972-3174 for more information.
NJ Seizure Care Jersey City Medical Center | 355 Grand Street
Learning the cause of a seizure can take quite a while for some patients. For this reason, the Jersey City Medical Center uses advanced technology to monitor the brain to find out why the seizure occurred and if an epilepsy diagnosis is necessary. After diagnostic services, comprehensive care is available for lifelong patients suffering from seizures. Epilepsy can begin in a person at any point in their life, and the onset of seizures can determine the type of condition management needed. To learn more about the type of management that may be needed, click here.
Epilepsy Center CentraState Healthcare System | 901 West Main Street, Freehold
Comprehensive care is needed for epilepsy patients, and this care center is offering just that. The team at CentraState consists of skilled epileptologists, neurologists, registered nurses, and technologists to ensure the best care possible. Services in this space include diagnostic evaluations as well as treatment and management options. To learn more about what is offered here at CentraState, check out the website.
Northeast Regional Epilepsy Group | 20 Prospect Avenue, Hackensack
Just like patients, healthcare professionals in this field need support and access to resources as well. The Northeast Regional Epilepsy Group is doing just that for those in the health field in this area of the U.S. The network is inclusive of psychiatrists, nurses, technicians, researchers, nutritionists, and more. Outside of the healthcare provider world, this group provides support for patients, including summer camps for children and virtual support groups to meet through the pandemic. The annual conference has gone virtual this year and is set to take place on December 4th. Whether a health professional or patient, find out more information about this group here.
Epilepsy Center Hackensack Meridian Hospital | 360 Essex Street, Hackensack
Serving patients with epilepsy and non-epileptic seizures, Hackensack University Medical Center’s Epilepsy Center provides great care for pediatric and adult patients in Bergen County. This particular center has been named a Level IV by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers—the highest accreditation level and an indicator of high-quality care. For more information on services and resources, visit the epilepsy center section of the website.
Neurology Center for Epilepsy and Seizures | 479 County Road, Marlboro Township
Diagnosing neurological conditions can be a long and difficult process for all involved. Once a diagnosis is found, life changes may need to be made. That is why the Neurology Center for Epilepsy and Seizures team is committed to caring for its patients at all stages of the process. A variety of tests and screenings are done to ensure the most accurate results are given, including sleep monitoring and digestive checks. Patients and caregivers can learn more about this center and its services through this link.
Rutgers Health Epilepsy Center | 185 S Orange Avenue, Newark
Standard to other facilities of its kind, The Rutgers Health Epilepsy Center provides evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and management of children and adults who have epilepsy and seizure disorders. Additionally, patients who visit this center have the opportunity to enroll in clinical trials. These trials are important as they allow researchers to learn and discover treatment advancements, diagnostic tactics, and easier management. It also allows professionals to connect epilepsy to other neurological conditions such as memory loss and depression. For you or a loved one to be connected to this center, find contact information on the site here.