Epilepsy is taking its turn in the spotlight this month.
Alexandria Mayor Sara Carlson recently signed a proclamation declaring November 2019 as Epilepsy Awareness Month.
The proclamation was presented to the city by Chris Poshek of Lowry, who is a special education para at Voyager Elementary School in Alexandria.
Poshek was diagnosed with epilepsy about 17 years ago and is active in educating people about the disorder. His daughter, Hannah, was diagnosed with it when she was 13 months old.
Poshek's main message is that people can lead normal lives, even with epilepsy.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder in which an individual experiences seizures caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. These seizures can cause involuntary changes in body movement, function, sensation, awareness or behavior, according to the proclamation.
Siezures can last from a few seconds to a few minutes and is caused by various factors, including head trauma, stroke, brain tumors, infections, inherited conditions, or problems during fetal development. For many people affected by epilepsy, there is no single identifiable cause.
The proclamation notes that November is dedicated to promoting public awareness of the importance of early diagnosis and to highlight the need for further research. "The seriousness of this disorder needs to be communicated to ensure that individuals with epilepsy are treated with respect," the proclamation reads.
The proclamation encourages all residents to show support for those affected by epilepsy and the many health care professions who provide invaluable care.
More than 3 million U.S. adults and 470,000 children have active epilepsy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.