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  • Writer's pictureREN

Epilepsy in Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Updated: May 31, 2022

This May celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This month is dedicated to celebrating the contributions Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made to the United States as well as their achievements. Asian Americans are also touched by epilepsy. In fact, three in 200 Asian Americans have epilepsy, and some percentage of those are diagnosed with rare epilepsies. Moreover, it is likely that number is higher due to an undercounting of Asian Americans who have been diagnosed with epilepsy overall.

In Asian culture, there may be stigma surrounding epilepsy that makes people afraid to talk about it, seek medical attention, or share their diagnosis with loved ones. One common misconception about epilepsy is that it’s a mental illness or something to be embarrassed about. Additionally, people with epilepsy often deal with other comorbidities like depression and other mental health problems that may add to the stigma or shame. People who live rurally may additionally have trouble connecting with others who have epilepsy. Further, obtaining access to treatment and services may be a challenge. Additionally, Asian Americans that don’t speak English as their first language may experience language barriers or locating resources in their native language.

In order to increase awareness of epilepsy and expedite treatment for all Asian Amerians and Pacific Islanders, we need more conversations about epilepsy across all communities and cultures.


Find your Rare Epilepsy Community

If you are diagnosed with a rare epilepsy, visit Rare Epilepsy Network’s 80+ members to find diagnosis specific information, education, support, and community. Meet the Members of the Rare Epilepsy Network YouTube Video

If you are aware of other valued resources or to provide updates or correct errors, please contact:

Disclaimer: All resources are provided as a courtesy. We are not endorsing any organizations or providing medical advice.

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