International Epilepsy Day
In India, National Epilepsy Day is celebrated on November 17 every year.
The aim is to raise awareness about brain diseases called Epilepsy and the myths associated with this disease. In India, awareness is being raised about epilepsy and its impact on individuals, families, and society.
Theme of National Epilepsy Day 2023
“Stigma” is the theme of National Epilepsy Day 2023.
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What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a Brain disorder characterized by recurrent seizures. “A seizure is usually defined as a sudden alteration of behavior due to a temporary change in the electrical functioning of the brain. Normally, the brain continuously generates tiny electrical impulses in an orderly pattern. These impulses travel along neurons (the network of nerve cells in the brain) and throughout the whole body via chemical messengers called neurotransmitters.”
Epilepsy is a long-term brain disorder in which a person has repeated seizures (convulsions).
Seizures can be classified into two broad categories depending on the location of abnormal brain activity. Seizure in one part of brain is called focal seizure and it is usually accompanied by loss of consciousness, while in case of generalised seizures, all areas of brain are involved.
Epilepsy can affect anyone irrespective of age, gender, and race.
Causes of Epilepsy
Genetics can play a role, weaving a complex web where familial predispositions intersect with environmental factors. Brain injuries resulting from accidents, infections impacting the central nervous system, developmental disorders, or even unidentified triggers contribute to the enigma surrounding this condition.
History and significance of National Epilepsy Day
The Epilepsy Foundation of India created National Epilepsy Day as a national campaign to lower the presence of epilepsy in India. Dr. Nirmal Surya founded the Epilepsy Foundation of India in Mumbai, Maharashtra, in 2009.
According to The World Health Organization, around 50 million people worldwide suffer from epilepsy and India accounts for nearly 10-20 percent (5-10 million) of the global epilepsy burden.
The following factors can increase the risk of seizures in people who have seizures:
- Lack of sleep or fatigue
- Inadequate food
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Failure to take prescribed anticonvulsants Medications
Management and Treatment
Treatment to control epilepsy includes anti epileptic drugs, special diets (usually in addition to anticonvulsant drugs), and surgery.
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