Epilepsy is a condition of the central nervous system with abnormal brain activity leading to seizures and unconsciousness. The symptoms of epilepsy vary depending upon the area involved.
The more important question is who gets epilepsy?
Going by the facts:
- Epilepsy is the 4th most common neurological disorder affecting more than 65 million people worldwide.
- It is estimated that there are more than 10 million persons with epilepsy (PWE) in India.
- The overall prevalence of epilepsy is 5.59-10 per 1000.
- A study reveals that every 1 in 26 people will develop epilepsy.
- Men are at slightly higher risk than women. But women at menopause are at a probability of developing the disease amongst their entire span.
The conclusion drawn is ‘everyone is at the risk of developing epilepsy at any age’.
- Age – A little higher risk in younger and older age than middle age groups. Children during their first year are at the highest risk.
- Race – More common in people of Hispanic background
- Socioeconomic Status – Poorer at more risk than rich
- Heavy alcohol usage
- Lack of sleep
- Cocaine and other ecstasy drugs
- Missing medicine doses
- Other health conditions
- Trauma like fall, blow or wound of close injuries like a gunshot
- Lack of oxygen during childbirth
- Brain tumors
- Genetic condition like tuberous sclerosis
- Infections like meningitis and encephalitis
- Post-stroke seizures
- Irregular sodium or blood sugar levels
- Mostly Idiopathic meaning undiscovered cause
Now, you are aware of the prevalence of epilepsy and the factors that happen to enforce its existence. More often than not the exact cause is found to be unknown. However, the research is still advancing and we will make sure to bring to you what you need to know about the disease soon after it comes about.
Dr. Tariq Matin, Senior Consultant Interventional Neurology, Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Gurugram and Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Delhi