Some facts about Epilepsy
Worldwide, 39 million people are believed to have epilepsy, however 30 million of them - nearly 3 out of every 4 - get almost no help for the condition. Source: Bulletin (Apr2001) of World Health Organization
Approximately 1 person in 200 in the UK has epilepsy. The figure in the USA is 1 in 100
Hipprocrates ( the father of Indian Medicines, 460-377 BC) was the first person to recognize epilepsy as an organic process in the brain
The general lifetime occurrence of seizures
is between 2-5%
Epilepsy represents the most common problem of nervous system affecting children
The cumulative incidence of epilepsy in children by age of 9 is 3.5 per 1000 population in Singapore.
Epilepsy occur at all ages; tend to start in infancy or late adolescence but the incidence rises again after 65
The rate of epilepsy is usually higher in males than in females.
In Singapore, there is no significant difference in the incidence in males and females but the incidence in Malays is significantly lower than in Chinese and Indians.
Children age 18 or younger make up the bulk of people with epilepsy while the seniors form the second largest age group.
Head injuries, strokes, brain tumors, infections and genetic conditions are potential causes of approximately 35 percent of all cases of epilepsy. In the remaining 65 percent, no cause can be found
Risk of recurrence after the first, unprovoked single
seizure varies from 30-70%
Potassium bromide is the first drug used in treatment of epilepsy
Frog's liver, urine served in shoe, gladiator's blood and Raven's egg were once used as "remedies" in ancient times for controlling seizures.
Risk of relapse on continued drug treatment was 10% per annum and was 2-3X greater in drug withdrawal group within 2 years from start of withdrawal.
Approximately 60% achieve remission after the first year of drug therapy; 15% achieve control at a later date, but in 25% seizures resist control and become intractable
Single rather than multiple anticonvulsants preferred and is effective in 70% of patients.
the Singapore General Hospital, a tertiary referral hospital, 62.7% were on
monotherapy. The drugs used were: carbamazepine (52%), valproic acid (24.3%)
and phenytoin (22.3%). 18.2% were taking newer anticonvulsants (gabapentin,
lamotrigine, vigabatrin) as add-ons.
In the Singapore General Hospital, a tertiary referral hospital, 62.7% were on monotherapy. The drugs used were: carbamazepine (52%), valproic acid (24.3%) and phenytoin (22.3%). 18.2% were taking newer anticonvulsants (gabapentin, lamotrigine, vigabatrin) as add-ons.
People with epilepsy of no known cause and onset in early to middle childhood (except neonatal seizures) sometimes respond better to medication.
People who may not respond well to medications include those whose symptoms started at birth and those with epilepsy associated with cerebral palsy, mental retardation, or brain damage.
The intelligence range for persons with epilepsy as measured by IQ tests is the same as the general population. Any slight reduction in intelligence scores in the epileptic population generally attributed to medication.
Studies show that a third of people with epilepsy in
experiences prejudice/discrimination in the workplace.
One in four feel the need to conceal their epilepsy from
Some myths on Epilepsy
( Epilepsy is not disease or illness. It is a condition in which there is recurrent seizures ( or fits or convulsion- they means the same thing). Seizure is a temporary state of abnormal electrical activity within the brain that occur only occasionally.)
People with epilepsy are more prone to crimes.
[ This is never true. A person with epilepsy may commit crimes but not because they have epilepsy. Criminal intent does not arise from epilepsy. Read what experts have to say ].
( Some do but others don’t. There are many
different types of
epilepsy. Different people would experience different symptoms even with the
same type of epilepsy.)
( For people with well-controlled epilepsy, they can do any sports just like the normal people. Unless your epilepsy is not well controlled, you might not want do strenuous exercises like swimming or similar but you can still play with other sports. However doing any sports alone should be avoided.)
Although there is currently no known cure, most cases are well-controlled with long term
Surgery is a possible choice but seizure free outcomes (ranging from 25% to 70%
depending on the types of epilepsy. )
( Heredity is not a common causative factor.
Almost 9 percent of children whose mothers have epilepsy and 2.4 percent whose
fathers have epilepsy will develop the condition. In most cases, the cause is not known. )
Pika! Click on ME!!
This is inaccurate. Video games may trigger seizures in people who tend to get
seizures when they see flashing lights or colors, but they cannot cause
epilepsy itself. READ IT
Last updated on 5th May 2001