Media Room

Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles

Thank you for your interest in writing about the epilepsies and the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles. We want you to have easy access to information about our organization and about the epilepsies. This page provides links to our media stories, videos, photo albums and Enews.

Our Mission

The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles leads the fight to END EPILEPSY. And we participate in the Epilepsy Foundation’s nationwide mission to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives stop seizures and early death, find a cure and overcome the challenges created by epilepsy.

Our Description (broilerplate)

The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles is leading the fight to END EPILEPSY through care, advocacy, research and education. We offer a range of services and programs to help, support, care and advocate for, and empower those who are affected by the epilepsies and their caregivers. We educate the general public about epilepsy and how to recognize seizures and administer first aid. We support research for cures and the training and work of specialists in our region in order to improve access to specialty epilepsy care and increase epilepsy research in our region — giving people with epilepsy and their loved ones greater access to care today and greater hope for cures in the future.  

We invite everyone to join the fight to END EPILEPSY at You can contact us at and 800.564.0445. The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Our tax ID is 95-2046033.


Who We Serve

The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles is an ally with and advocates for individuals and families affected by epilepsy/seizure disorders. Our primary area of service includes the Counties of Los Angeles (9.95 million), Orange (3.0 million), San Bernardino (2.0 million) and Ventura (0.8 million). The combined population of our territory is over 15.75 million and at least 1% or about 160,000 people have epilepsy. However, many more are significantly impacted by epilepsy in their daily lives when you include family members, caregivers, and friends.

How We Are Established

The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles has been  in existence for over 55 years, but under different names. We are the only non-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated solely to serving people affected by epilepsy throughout this entire region. We are an independent non-profit organization that chooses to affiliate with the national Epilepsy Foundation headquartered in Landover, Maryland.

Contact Us

Susan Pietsch-Escueta, MPH
Executive Director
Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles

310.670.2870 (office); 310.991.1756 (mobile)

Epilepsies / Seizure Disorders
  • Definition and characteristics of the epilepsies

    • The most recent definition of epilepsy is as follows:
      Epilepsy is considered a disease of the brain defined by any of the following conditions: (1) At least two unprovoked (or reflex) seizures occurring >24 hr apart; (2) one unprovoked (or reflex) seizure and a probability of further seizures similar to the general recurrence risk (at least 60%) after two unprovoked seizures, occurring over the next 10 years; or (3) diagnosis of an epilepsy syndrome. 
      (Source: International League Against Epilepsy)
    • The previous definition of epilepsy was as follows and is still seen in much of the literature and media:
      The epilepsies are a spectrum of brain disorders ranging from severe, life-threatening and disabling, to ones that are much more benign. In epilepsy, the normal pattern of neuronal activity becomes disturbed, causing strange sensations, emotions, and behavior or sometimes convulsions, muscle spasms, and loss of consciousness. 
    • Epilepsies are characterized by seizures which are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Seizures range from sudden, uncontrolled body movements and changes in behavior to loss of awareness, changes in emotion, loss of muscle control, and shaking.
    • Some types of epilepsy remit or go away but some are chronic and even life-long.
    • Some people with epilepsy have more than one type of seizure.
    • Depending on age and medical history, some people with epilepsy may have a dual diagnosis with another neurological disorders as well — developmental delay, cerebral palsy, autism, dementia, and mental illness.

  • Diagnosis and treatment of the epilepsies

    • Besides a neurological evaluation and medical history, the common diagnostic tests for epilepsy include (1) an EEG or electroencephalogram which measures the electrical activity in the brain, and brain imaging scans including computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
    • The epilepsies have many possible causes and there are several types of seizures. Anything that disturbs the normal pattern of neuron activity—from illness to brain damage to abnormal brain development—can lead to seizures. Epilepsy may develop because of an abnormality in brain wiring, an imbalance of nerve signaling chemicals called neurotransmitters, changes in important features of brain cells called channels, or some combination of these and other factors.
    • Treatments for epilepsy include many different kinds of anti-seizure medications, different surgical treatments, and a few different dietary therapies. 

  • Numbers of people affected by epilepsy

    • 1 in 26 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy in his or her lifetime. 
    • About 200,000 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy each year.
    • The epilepsies affect almost 65 million people in the world, almost 3 million in the USA, and about 160,000 in our 4-county region.
    • The number of people affected by epilepsy increases dramatically when considering the family members and friends.
    • Epilepsy affects more people than cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease — combined.

  • Epilepsy research

    • Epilepsy receives far fewer dollars per patient affected than any of these neurological disorders — cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease.
    • There are no cures.
    • There is active epilepsy research in our region but not nearly enough.

  • Impact of the epilepsies

    • About 30 percent of those with epilepsy live with uncontrolled seizures because no available treatment works for them.
    • It is estimated that about 50,000 people die from epilepsy related causes in the USA every year. Those causes include status epilepticus (prolonged seizures), sudden unexpected death in epilepsy also known as SUDEP, and other seizure related causes such as drowning and other accidents. 
    • Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy or SUDEP accounts for about 30% of all sudden deaths in children.
    • Of the 2.2 million troops who served in Afghanistan or Iraq, an estimated 440,000 (20%) will experience traumatic brain injury (TBI) and more than 100,000 (23%) of those are expected to develop post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE).
    • Epilepsy costs the USA approximately $15.5 billion each year.
    • Traumatic brain injury can result from sports-related injuries. Proper and quick recognition of and response to a concussive brain injury when it first occurs can help prevent further injury, the development of post-traumatic epilepsy or even death.


You can use these quotes or contact to request other quotes.

“I am often struck with how important this cause is. It is a life threatening cause that demands the activism of everyone — and especially those with epilepsy and those who care for them.”
-Steven Baum, President, Board of Trustees, Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles

“My son, Sebastian, has a severe form of childhood epilepsy. He is the bravest person I know. He inspires me to be part of this fight to End Epilepsy. I know most of my fellow trustees feel the same way. We are all inspired by the brave people with epilepsy whom we know.”
-Steven Baum, President, Board of Trustees, Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles

“Time and again I have seen the importance of sharing personal stories of epilepsy. It is critical to End Epilepsy. We will not End Epilepsy if those with epilepsy do not share their stories. Each story is like gold in support of this fight.”
-Susan Pietsch-Escueta, MPH, Executive Director, Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles

“Epilepsy is far more common than most people realize. In fact, epilepsy affects more people than cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease — combined. Sadly, however, it receives far fewer dollars per patient affected than each of those neurological diseases.” 
-Susan Pietsch-Escueta, MPH, Executive Director, Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles

“We need awareness that helps the public understand about seizures and epilepsy and their impact on children, adults and families… At the core of what we are doing … is a very real and serious FIGHT.”
-Jeannett, mother of Jilly,

Correct terms to use (and not use)

Inclusive language for writing about epilepsy


Phrase to use
Phrase NOT to use

person with epilepsy



fit, spell, attack

epilepsy is a disease/disorder of the brain

epilepsy is a psychiatric or mental illness


patient (and other medical terms)

Coming soon – other guidelines on writing about persons with disabilities. 


Latest News
  • December 13, 2017
    Program Focused on Self Care During the Holidays

    More than forty adults and their loved ones joined us on Sunday, December 10, 2017 for the Holiday Social + Second Sunday Group in Los Angeles. The theme of Sunday’s program was Self Care.  The day began with brief introductions and then lead to a healthy lunch. During lunch, guests chatted and played a “human […]

  • November 22, 2017
    Enjoy a Ketogenic Thanksgiving. Download a FREE eRecipe Book!

    Learn how to create delicious ketogenic recipes the whole family will love. Our friends, The Charlie Foundation for Ketogenic Therapies, connected with the local Pierre-Louis family to bring you a nutritious ketogenic Thanksgiving!   Download the FREE Thanksgiving Recipe eBook. Please visit to download your FREE eRecipe book to get recipes and learn more about this amazing family.    P.S. We […]

  • November 21, 2017
    Traveling for the holidays? Know this before you leave.

      Whether you are traveling near or far for the holidays, there are things that people with seizures should consider before and as they travel — from questions and concerns about types of travel, safety issues to consider, and how to manage seizures safely. Consider and heed some of the helpful tips, accessible on the links […]

  • November 17, 2017
    Thank you for participating in the fight to End Epilepsy!

    Thanks to everyone who supported and participated at the Walk to End Epilepsy on Sunday, November 5, 2017 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The preliminary results of Sunday’s Walk (as of 11/10/17) are that we raised nearly $500,000 and more than 4,500 people participated onsite. But, we are still counting and people are continuing to raise funds throughout the end […]

  • October 17, 2017
    Team Nehe Interviewed on 100.3 The Sound

    Parent advocates, Dara and Juno Pierre-Louis, joined our End Epilepsy Executive Director, Susan Pietsch-Escueta, for an interview on 100.3 The Sound’s “5900 Wilshire”. On-air personality, Tina Mastramico, aired the segment this past Sunday, October 15, 2017.    Dara and Juno, members of Team Nehe (who are attending the Walk to End Epilepsy on November 5 at the Rose […]

  • August 2, 2017
    Pasadena Mayor to Attend Walk to End Epilepsy

    With much excitement and appreciation for his participation, we are pleased to announce that Pasadena Mayor Tornek will be joining us at the Walk to End Epilepsy 2017. “Pasadena is proud to host the Walk to End Epilepsy at the Rose Bowl on Sunday, November 5. It’s an enjoyable way for the community to connect, […]