Frequently asked questions

What is epilepsy?

A neurological disorder marked by sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance, loss of consciousness, or convulsions, associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

What is SUDEP?

Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy or SUDEP is a term used when a person with epilepsy suddenly dies, and the reason for the death results from unexplained respiratory failure or cardiac arrest after seizures. Postmortem examination usually reveals no abnormalities in victims.

There are approximately 500 people that die from SUDEP every year in the UK.
Very little is known of SUDEP or why it happens, this is why we as a charity are making others aware, if more sufferers and carers know about SUDEP they can put things in place to try and avoid this from happening, IE mattress alarms and anti suffocation pillows.

What is an EEG – Electroencephalogram?

BrainAn EEG is a painless test, which records the electrical activity in your brain. The results of an EEG may help doctors when they are making a diagnosis, or when they are making decisions about your treatment. Your brain is constantly producing tiny electrical signals. During an EEG test, electrodes (flat metal discs) are placed on your head. The electrodes pick up the electrical signals from your brain and record them on an EEG machine.

The electrodes only pick up the electrical signals. They do not affect your brain and they do not cause you any pain. The EEG machine records the electrical signals from your brain on a computer. They look like wavy lines and these represent your brainwave patterns. The EEG test can only show your brainwave patterns at the time the test is carried out. At different times, your brainwave patterns may be different.

Most people have brainwave patterns that look similar to everyone else’s. Sometimes, the EEG test shows that a person has different brainwave patterns to other people. These are caused by unusual electrical activity in their brain. They can sometimes indicate that the person has epilepsy.