1.3 million Iranians suffering from epilepsy 

January 11, 2019

TEHRAN — There are 1.3 million Iranians suffering rom epilepsy and 400,000 of them are diagnosed with drug-resistant disease, the head of the 15th International Congress on Epilepsy has said. 

Epilepsy is a chronic disorder of the brain that affects people of all ages. It is characterized by recurrent seizures, which are brief episodes of involuntary movement that may involve a part of the body (partial) or the entire body (generalized), and are sometimes accompanied by loss of consciousness and control of bowel or bladder function.

Epilepsy’s side effects can be easily managed in case it is diagnosed timely, and the quality of the patients’ life will increase, IRNA news agency quoted Hossein Pakdaman as saying on Thursday. 

Despite other countries where they invest on research for epilepsy, not much is spent in Iran on research and treatment methods for epilepsy, he regretted. 
Being injured in road crashes is one of the leading causes of epilepsy in Iran and the number of people suffering from the disorder in the country is two or three times more than other developing countries, he added. 

Dariush Nasabi Tehrani, director and founder of the Iranian Epilepsy Association, for his part, said that while there different medications available for treatment of epilepsy the main treatment for epilepsy patients is taking medicine and even changing the medicine might give rise to seizures in such patients. 

Such patients’ well-being is highly dependent on the use of drugs and in some cases one hour delay in taking the medications may result in seizures, he warned. 
Marjan Asadollahi the scientific secretary of the 15th International Congress on Epilepsy also called on insurance companies to cover treatment and medication costs of such patients. 

The 15th International Congress on Epilepsy will be held on January 23-25. Drug resistant epilepsy, medical and surgical managements, epilepsy in systemic diseases, and psychogenic seizure and psychological aspects of epilepsy are the main themes of the congress. 

Epilepsy worldwide

According to World Health Organization (WHO) approximately 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, making it one of the most common neurological diseases globally.

Nearly 80% of the people with epilepsy live in low- and middle-income countries. People with epilepsy respond to treatment approximately 70% of the time.

About three fourths of people with epilepsy living in low- and middle- income countries do not get the treatment they need.
In many parts of the world, people with epilepsy and their families suffer from stigma and discrimination.

MQ/MG

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