Purple shirts. Purple ties. Purple scrubs, sweaters and dresses. Akron Children’s neurology and neurodevelopmtnal science team celebrated Purple Day, an international grassroots effort to build awareness for epilepsy.
Purple Day was founded in 2008 by Cassidy Megan, a Canadian girl, who hoped to create a conversation about epilepsy and dispel myths about seizures.
“One in 26 people will develop epilepsy during their lifetime,” said Dr. Lucyna Zawadzki, director of the epilepsy program at Akron Children’s. “Epilepsy is more common than autism, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease combined.”
Epilepsy accounts for 1 percent of the global burden of disease, equal to the burden of lung cancer in men and breast cancer in women, according to the World Health Organization.
The goal of Akron Children’s epilepsy program is to reduce or eliminate a child’s seizures and educate the family to improve the child’s quality of life.
Epilepsy treatment options may include FDA-approved anti-seizure medications, investigational medications, or an implantable medical device called a vagus nerve stimulator. In some cases, surgery or a ketogenic diet are good treatment options.
Akron Children’s epilepsy team includes neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists, dietitians, specially-trained pediatric nurses and many other specialists to support the patient and his family.
Akron Children’s Purple Day celebration is just one of hundreds of events happening around the globe – from educational programs to 5K races – as far away as Bangladesh, Belarus, Melbourne and Santiago.