March 14, 2015 - Southeast Georgia Health System is joining individuals
and organizations across the globe in observing March 26 as Purple Day™,
a World Day for Epilepsy Awareness, and encouraging their team members
and the community to support the initiative by wearing purple.
The Health System also invites the community to learn more about epilepsy
by attending a Lunch and Learn For Your Health lecture presented by Lori
A. Trefts, M.D., at the Golden Isles YMCA from 12 to 1 p.m. on Wednesday,
March 25. Olive Garden will provide lunch at no charge to attendees.
Purple Day was founded in 2008 by nine-year-old Cassidy Megan of Nova
Scotia, Canada, with the help of the Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia.
It has since spread to more than a dozen countries around the world.
According to Trefts, a board-certified neurologist with Southeast Georgia
Physician Associates-Neurosciences, a strategic affiliate of the Health
System, epilepsy is a condition where people are susceptible to seizures,
caused by abnormal electricity in their brain. While approximately two
percent of the population will experience a single seizure during their
life, epilepsy is diagnosed when a person has a risk for recurrent seizures.
There are many different types of seizures, which vary from the well-known
“grand-mal” seizure, where a person experiences unconsciousness,
convulsions and muscle rigidity, to less dramatic types such as when a
person loses consciousness briefly and may be noticed as staring or with
a blank-looking face. Seizures can start during childhood or adulthood.
Sometimes they are the result of some kind of brain injury, such as a
car accident, an infection or a stroke, but sometimes the reason is unknown.
“The tough thing for patients with seizures is how unpredictable
they are, often coming with no or very little warning,” Trefts says.
“Seizures can also be very disruptive to a person’s life.
If they aren’t controlled, the person generally will not be allowed
to drive and may not be able to engage in a variety of activities, such
as swimming, or performing certain job tasks, such as work that involves
The good news is that medications are generally helpful in controlling
seizures. “The number of medications available to treat seizures
has grown dramatically over the past 20 years, and the safety and tolerability
of these medications has improved,” adds Trefts. “If seizures
cannot be controlled with medication, there are surgical options.”
The Lunch and Learn For Your Health series takes place on the last Wednesday
of each month at the Golden Isles YMCA located at 144 Scranton Connector,
Brunswick. Seating is limited and pre-registration is required by calling
the YMCA at 912-265-4100.