Two million Americans suffer from epilepsy and possibly millions more who haven't been diagnosed. A free, public forum in Toms River Thursday hopes to educate the public.

Community Medical Center in Toms River (

"We do notice as the population is aging that there tend to be more and more seizure disorders that occur in the elderly population," said Dr. Amor Mehta, Medical Director of Epilepsy and Video EEG Monitoring at Community Medical Center in Toms River.

Dr. Mehta explained it's a hard diagnosis to come to and requires a lot of particular monitoring with EEG studies and video EEG studies to figure it out. "The good news is that most of the time people, once they get on the proper treatment, they do well and they get better, and no long term effects really," Mehta said.  An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test that detects electrical activity in your brain using small, flat metal discs (electrodes) attached to your scalp.

In children, Mehta said there are a lot of them diagnosed with different seizure disorders under many different classifications, adding they under go the same type of monitoring as an adult and may require medications to epilepsy surgery for treatment.

Not all seizures deal with convulsions and Mehta said many times people experience partial seizures. "Often times they may be going about their business and suddenly they just start staring off in the distance, totally unresponsive, they may get a warning before hand, like of a very vivid Deja' vu spell, a sudden taste in the mouth, a sudden smell that comes on." He said these odd spells can be mistaken for a panic attack and it's only until the person has their first convulsion that they're brought to a neurologist or an epileptologist for work up.

The free public forum is being held Thursday, May 29, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Clarion Hotel in Toms River. A light dinner will be served. Pre-registration is required by calling 888-724-7213.

The guest speakers include Dr. Mehta as well as Dr. Gerald Ferencz, Medical Director, Center for Sleep Disorders and Primary Stroke Center at Community Medical Center.