Epilepsy is a chronic noncommunicable disease of the brain that affects around 50 million people worldwide. 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 function1
Goal of treatment is achieving a seizure-free status without adverse effects.2 Seizures can be controlled. Up to 70% of people living with epilepsy could become seizure free with appropriate use of antiseizure medicines. A documented etiology of the seizure and an abnormal electroencephalography (EEG) pattern are the two most consistent predictors of seizure recurrence.1
In many low- and middle-income countries, there is low availability of antiseizure medication. A recent study found the average availability of generic antiseizure medicines in the public sector of low- and middle-income countries to be less than 50%. This may act as a barrier to accessing treatment.1
- Epilepsy is a chronic noncommunicable disease of the brain that affects people of all ages.
- Around 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, making it one of the most common neurological diseases globally.
- Nearly 80% of people with epilepsy live in low- and middle-income countries.
- It is estimated that up to 70% of people living with epilepsy could live seizure- free if properly diagnosed and treated.
- Three quarters of people with epilepsy living in low-income countries do not get the treatment they need.
- WHO. Epilepsy, Fact sheet. June 2019. Accessed October 2021
- David Y Ko, MD. (2020) Epilepsy and Seizures Treatment & Management. Cited 17 Dec 2021. Medscape Available from: https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1184846-treatment