Epilepsy is the most common serious neurological condition, affecting 1-2% of the population. In Western Australia, at least 20,000 people have active Epilepsy with at least a further 1,400 new patients presenting with a seizure each year. One in 20 children will have a seizure at some time during childhood and adolescence, and Epilepsy is increasingly common after the age of 50 years. The cumulative incidence of epilepsy, the risk of an individual developing epilepsy in his or her lifetime, is between 3 and 5%.
The majority of patients with Epilepsy can be effectively treated, given an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment, and are able to lead normal lives. Ongoing seizures have a major impact on the burden of illness to the patient and the community, including quality of life, mortality and economic costs. The health care costs of Epilepsy increase dramatically in proportion to seizure frequency, whilst the costs of seizure-free Epilepsy patients are similar to the healthcare costs of the general population.
Epilepsy Association of Western Australia