People with epilepsy can lead an absolutely normal life

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine Comments Off

The condition is can be cured if treatment is started in a timely manner

New Delhi, 27 March 2019: Statistics indicate that about 70 million people are affected by epilepsy worldwide, and it is one of the most common neurological diseases. The chronic non-communicable disorder of the brain affects people of all ages and is known to be more prevalent among the rural (1.9%) compared to urban population (0.6%) with nearly 80% of the people with epilepsy (PWE) living in low-and middle-income countries.

Epilepsy is a disease of the brain characterized by recurrent seizures, which are brief episodes of involuntary movement that may involve a part of the body (partial) or the entire body (generalized). The seizures are sometimes accompanied by loss of consciousness and control of bowel or bladder function.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “A lot of progress has been made in the country for treating epilepsy and controlling the onset of seizures. Many effective new anti-epileptic drugs are available in the market today. India also many centres that offer treatment facility for this condition. Only mass awareness can dispel the associated myths with epilepsy. It is important to create awareness that those with epilepsy can lead a normal life, get married, have children, and even work. This is not a contagious condition and does not spread through contact. Epilepsy is mostly treatable with medications. The critical thing about epilepsy is that treatment should not be delayed. Start the treatment as soon as it is diagnosed. This prevents further deterioration of the condition.”

In a study conducted in India, more than half of women with epilepsy concealed their condition prior to their wedding, fearing social stigma and breakdown of the marriage negotiations. It is estimated that there are about 2.73 million women with this condition in the country and 52% of them are in the reproductive (15-49 years) age group.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “A patient with seizure can get married, live a normal life and produce children. It is a misnomer that during a fit you need to make the person smell a shoe. During epilepsy, never put the fingers inside the mouth of the patient as they may get injured. Use a spoon instead to prevent tongue bite. A patient with epilepsy fall will have stiffness in the body; on the contrary, patient with cardiac loss of consciousness will fall loose. A seizure that lasts for more than 5–10 minutes requires specialized attention.”

Some tips from HCFI

·       One of the major reasons for incomplete control of seizures is non-compliance. Some tips to prevent onset of seizures and the condition from getting worse are as follows.

·       Adhere to the prescribed medication

·       Following a regular sleep cycle to remain stress-free

·       Keep yourself hydrated

·       Eat a balanced diet

·       Get regular medical checkups done