What you should know about epilepsy

What you should know about epilepsy

It’s National Epilepsy day 21 June. One in every hundred people has epilepsy, but not everyone has access to care and treatment.

Here’s more about this condition.

In the developed or industrialised world, the seizures of the majority of people living with epilepsy are controlled, typically by medication.

Epilepsy, which is also known as a seizure disorder, is a neurological condition affecting the nervous system. It is the most common neurological condition and it must be remembered that this is not a mental illness or a psychiatric disorder. Many children who have epilepsy will outgrow it.

But one seizure is not enough to diagnose epilepsy – it is usually only diagnosed after someone has had at least two seizures that are unrelated to a known medical condition.

The onset of epilepsy, though it can affect anyone at any age, is usually before the age of 20.

Seizures seen in epilepsy are caused by disturbances in the electrical activity of the brain. The seizures in epilepsy may be related to a brain injury or a family tendency, but most of the time the cause is unknown.

Nearly 80% of people with epilepsy live in developing countries. About three-quarters of these people do not get the treatment/anti-epileptic medication they need.

Treatment with anti-convulsants has dramatically changed the kind of life that people with epilepsy can expect to live.

Uncontrolled seizures can limit one’s employment possibilities and affect one’s choice of recreational or sporting activities. One third of people with epilepsy live with uncontrollable seizures, because there doesn’t seem to be an available treatment that works for them. There are generic medicines available on the market to treat epilepsy.

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