Epilepsy is the most common chronic neurological disorder that affects 1 in every 200 people in the community. It is estimated that in India, there are over five million people with epilepsy and one million with medically refractory epilepsy. There are nearly five hundred thousand people with focal epilepsies, and in a majority of them, surgery cures or controls epilepsy.
In urban India, the family practitioner, paediatrician, physician and neurologists are involved in epilepsy care. However, a large section of patients with active epilepsy especially in rural India go undiagnosed and untreated. This treatment gap in underdeveloped countries ranges from 70 to 94% with an estimated three million patients living in rural areas of India. The reasons are several: failure to identify persons with epilepsy; failure to deliver treatment to identified persons with epilepsy; knowledge, attitude and cultural practices of the people; and the cost of antiepileptic drugs.What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is the tendency to have repeated spontaneous seizures (fits/convulsions). Seizures are episodes of disturbed brain electrical activity that cause changes in attention or behaviour.What are the different types of fits?
The normal brain continuously has electrical currents in a controlled manner. Fits or seizures occur because of brief excessive currents in the brain. The symptoms of a seizure vary depending on the part of the brain that has abnormal current. Accordingly there are different types of fits or seizures.
What causes Epilepsy?Epilepsy may occur due to
Epilepsy can start at any age, but it commonly starts at extremes of age, i.e., in small children and the elderly. A large percentage of children with epilepsy outgrow the problem with age.