Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological diseases in the world, and is characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures (fits) that can occur at all ages. The causes of epilepsy are multiple, ranging from perinatal problems, traumatic brain insults, metabolic abnormalities, to infections of the central nervous system; sometimes, the causes are not known. Consensual international norms have been established for the proper diagnosis and management of epilepsy, including specificities for vulnerable populations such as children and pregnant women. Specific emphasis must be laid on low and middle income countries, where about 80% of all persons with epilepsy reside. In such resource-limited settings, epilepsy patients are often confronted with sub-optimal care, reduced access to treatment, and frequent epilepsy complications. Early epilepsy diagnosis and proper anti-epileptic treatment usually result in satisfactory seizure control, and enable persons with epilepsy to lead a normal life. Besides the usual medications, psychosocial support and stigma reducing interventions are crucial to improve the quality of life of affected persons and their families.
Part of the book: Epilepsy