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February 11, 2020

70% epilepsy patients could live seizure-free

Islamabad

February 11, 2020

Islamabad:Traditionally, the diagnosis of epilepsy requires the occurrence of at least two unprovoked seizures. The lifetime likelihood of experiencing at least one epileptic seizure is about 9%, and the lifetime likelihood of receiving a diagnosis of epilepsy is almost 3%. According to a study, overall prevalence of epilepsy in Pakistan is estimated to be 9.99 per 1,000 population, which is more or less similar to global prevalence (5-10 cases per 1,000). An estimated 70% of people living with epilepsy could live seizure-free, if properly diagnosed and treated.

Head of Department and Consultant Neurologist at Shifa International Hospital (SIH) Dr. Maimoona Siddiqui shared the above information at an awareness seminar organized at SIH Here on Monday in connection with International Epilepsy Day. The day offers an opportunity to raise awareness of epilepsy, what it is, how it can be treated, and what is needed to bring treatment to all people who need it.

Dr. Maimoona shared that the diagnosis of epilepsy requires the occurrence of at least two unprovoked seizures. The first seizure should not be treated unless there are any clinical findings explained on diagnostic tests including MRI, EEG or any abnormal focal neurological findings or in case of family history.

Epilepsy is a mental disease marked by recurrent, unprovoked seizures. As proposed by the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) and the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) in 2005, epilepsy is defined as a brain disorder characterized by an enduring predisposition to generate epileptic seizures and by the neurobiological, cognitive, psychological, and social consequences of this condition. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), around 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, making it one of the most common neurological diseases globally. Shifa International Hospital vows to emphasize epilepsy awareness, prevalence, treatment and its prevention.

As per the recommendations of the Epilepsy Foundation, Dr. Maimoona advised precautionary steps that should be taken to avoid epilepsy-related accidents. These include replacing glass with plastic, using caution with hot fluids, taking shower instead of bath, installing a rubber mat or nonskid strips on tub or shower floor, padding hard edges of tables and furniture, cooking with partner, considering use of a seizure alert monitor or sharing a room.

According to Consultant Neurologist at SIH Dr. Azhar Saeed, although the mainstay of treatment for individuals with epilepsy is pharmacological, non-drug treatments such as psychological interventions, the Ketogenic Diet (KD) and Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) are also used.