Epilepsy Patients Qualify for Medical Marijuana Access in PA

Epilepsy affects one to two percent of Pennsylvanians, according to the Department of Health of Pennsylvania. It is considered the third most common brain disorder after stroke and Alzheimer’s.

To gain access to an MMJ card, visit our Pennsylvania page.

Epilepsy Patients in Pennsylvania

The Epilepsy Foundation in eastern Pennsylvania reported that there are 110,000 individuals living with epilepsy in the state.

One out of three people with epilepsy lives with uncomfortable seizures because there is no available treatment that works for them.

Six out of ten people who suffer from this medical condition in Pennsylvania have unknown causes.

In addition, the Department of Health records that epilepsy affects one to two percent of Pennsylvanians.

More people suffer from epilepsy than from Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and muscular dystrophy combined.

In terms of the cause of epilepsy, 70% of the time, its cause is not known, although head injury, infections, or heredity are known to cause it.

What is Epilepsy?

epilepsy disease The term ‘epilepsy’, comes from the Greek word which means “to seize”. It is a brain disorder that can affect anyone, at any age, at any time. It is sometimes called a ‘seizure disorder’, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A person is said to have epilepsy when he or she has had two or more seizures. A seizure, a short change in normal brain activity, is thought to be the main sign of epilepsy.

It is the result of sudden, brief changes in the electrical balance of the brain, and it happens when there are too many electrical charges in the brain.

Seizures typically last a few seconds to a few minutes and affect awareness, physical movements, or speech.


Basic Information About Epilepsy

When an individual is diagnosed with epilepsy and experiences several seizures, his or her awareness, physical movements, or speech, are affected.

Most people who have epilepsy have the following symptoms:

  • Tremors
  • Loss of awareness
  • Appear to be ‘daydreaming’ or ‘switching off’
  • Blank stares that last a few seconds
  • Rapid eye blinking
  • Chewing movements
  • Other random movements

An overview of epilepsy symptoms may look like heart attacks, strokes, or lack of balance. The first signs of epilepsy can develop during the pre-school and elementary school years. It is often considered a lifelong condition and can be managed with the use of medication, special diets, or surgery.

Major Types of Epilepsy

It can sometimes be difficult to tell if a person is having a seizure since he or she can just seem to have a confused look or maybe staring at something that is not there.

Other seizures would cause a person to fall, shake, and become unaware of what’s going on around them.

The two main types of seizures

1. Generalized seizures — affect both sides of the brain, produced by widespread abnormal epileptic seizures electrical impulses present throughout the entire brain

General epilepsy classifications are:

  • Generalized tonic-clonic (Grand Mal)
  • Absence
  • Myoclonic
  • Clonic
  • Tonic
  • Atonic

2. Focal seizures — affect just one area of the brain, also called partial or localized seizures, produced by electrical impulses that generate from a relatively small part of the brain referred to as the focus

Partial epilepsy classifications are:

  • Simple partial (awareness maintained)
  • Complex partial (awareness impaired)
  • Partial seizures with secondary generalization

Causes of Epilepsy

About 30% of the 180,000 new cases of epilepsy every year occur in children. Most patients diagnosed with epilepsy are children and elderly adults. The minority of the cases have determined clear causes, but the typical known cause of a seizure is some injury to the brain. Up to 70% of all cases of epilepsy have no discovered causes.

Main causes of epilepsy include:

  • Low oxygen during birth
  • Head injuries that occur during birth or from accidents during youth or adulthood
  • Brain tumors
  • Genetic conditions that result in brain injury like tuberous sclerosis
  • Infections like meningitis or encephalitis
  • Stroke or any other type of damage to the brain
  • Abnormal levels of substances such as sodium or blood sugar
  • Developmental disorders like autism and neurofibromatosis
  • Injury before birth like brain damage from an infection in the mother, poor nutrition, or oxygen deficiencies

Impact on Lifestyle of Epilepsy

Living with epilepsy can be challenging. The challenges will be different for children, adolescents, and seniors than for adults.

Generally, patients suffering from epilepsy often experience changes in their quality of life which typically include less mobility.

Several aspects in life are also affected such as:

  • Learning
  • School attendance
  • Employment
  • Relationships
  • Social interactions

The impact on the lifestyle of epilepsy would depend on these factors:

  • The severity of the disorder
  • Presence of co-existing medical or neurological problems
  • Social challenges

The process of eliminating epilepsy can take a long time. Most patients take steps to adapt their lifestyle to accommodate their epileptic condition. They can set goals working toward a good quality of life even with epilepsy.

Types of Epilepsy Treatments

There is no known cure for epilepsy. Medication and therapy are being used to manage the seizures and to minimize the causes.

Lifestyle modifications can also help like:

  • Getting adequate sleep
  • Avoiding drugs and alcohol
  • Minimizing emotional stress
  • Regular exercise

Other common treatments for epilepsy are:

  • Medicine. Anti-seizure drugs are medicines that limit the spread of seizures in the brain. Treatment plans are adjusted depending on the frequency of seizures. Medical marijuana is an alternative medication being used in managing seizures for epilepsy. Epilepsy patients can qualify for medical cannabis with TeleLeaf RX.
  • Surgery. Focal seizures can be treated by removing the area, usually in the temporal lobe of the brain, that is causing the seizures. This can stop the seizures or make it easier for medicine to control them.

Medical Marijuana For Epilepsy

The state of Pennsylvania lists epilepsy as one of the debilitating conditions that qualify for medical marijuana. If you’re seeking to get one for your condition, you need a medical marijuana card and a doctor’s recommendation.

Our online platform can help you get started through our HIPAA-compliant application. Contact us online today!

Get Your Medical Card