Epilepsy in Communities of Color


Epilepsy is the world’s fourth most common neurological illness. Epilepsy is a neurological condition characterized by recurrent, spontaneous seizures. Abnormal electrical discharges in a group of brain cells cause seizures. Such discharges can occur in many areas of the brain.

In the United States, an estimated 25,000 African Americans receive a new epilepsy diagnosis each year. Compared to White Americans, African Americans are more likely to have an epilepsy diagnosis. African Americans are more likely than other groups to experience seizures that last 10 minutes or more, leading to more emergency room trips. Moreover, the group most likely to be impacted by SUDEP is Black men with epilepsy (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy).

Causes of Epilepsy

Even though various underlying disease mechanisms can cause epilepsy, the condition’s origin is still unclear in approximately 50% of cases worldwide. Stroke, head injuries, hereditary disorders, and brain tumors are all common causes of epilepsy.


The key to altering attitudes and encouraging persons with epilepsy to seek proper care is education. According to researchers, there is less awareness about epilepsy in the African American community, which could lead to a delayed diagnosis. This may be the result of a lack of understanding and access to medical care/services. 

Why Seizure Awareness & Education Matters

Seizure awareness is essential because it can help break the stigma within the community. One form of education that can help someone during Seizure First Aid Training. This training increases your skills and confidence in recognizing seizures and safely administering first aid.  Below is a step-by-step guide to helping with having a seizure.

If you or someone you know is searching for more support to help enhance one’s quality of life, please contact the organizations listed below:


Inova Epilepsy Center. Inova. (n.d.). Retrieved February 20, 2023, from https://www.inova.org/our-services/inova-epilepsy-center 

The Epilepsy Foundation of Virginia. THE EPILEPSY FOUNDATION OF VIRGINIA. (n.d.). Retrieved February 20, 2023, from https://www.epilepsyva.com/#home-1-section 

Organization, W. H. (n.d.). Epilepsy. World Health Organization. Retrieved February 20, 2023, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/epilepsy 

Translate »
Scroll to Top