Ludhiana : More than 70 patients and their relatives attended the Epilepsy Awareness Programme. Separate rounds of interactions were held and a lot of queries regarding Epilepsy were resolved. The whole session was followed by question-answer round on various scenarios of daily life.
Programme was held under the supervision of Dr. Alok Jain and Dr. Vishnu Gupta, giving information regarding Epilepsy and their cause’s by doctors:
Epilepsy is a chronic neurological condition, the hallmark of which is recurrent unprovoked seizures. Approximately 5-10 out of 1000 people suffer from epilepsy globally. It can affect anybody and can occur at any age. There are a lot of myths and social stigma attached to epilepsy for which awareness needs to be spread in our society. Celebrating Epilesy day is an initiative in that direction.
Speaking on the occasion Dr Alok Jain, Consultant Neurologist at Fortis Hospital Ludhiana shared his views on the common myths about epilepsy.
Myth No 1: Epilepsy is mentally disabling and prevents the person from having a worthwhile career and lead a meaningful life.
Fact: People suffering from epilepsy can join most professions, except for some like armed forces, pilot, etc . Famous artists, scientists, philosophers and world leaders have suffered from epilepsy. The list includes names like Socrates, Tolstoy, Napoleon, Alexander, Beethoven, Newton and Agatha Christie.
Myth No 2: People with Epilepsy (PWE) should not marry or have kids.
Fact: Epileptics can have a normal married and sexual life and can plan a pregnancy under medical supervision.
Myth No 3: PWE should not take part in sports.
Fact: Epileptic children can take part in most sports in school under supervision. Swimming and water sports, mountaineering, aero sports are usually avoided.
Myth No 4: PWE should not watch TV or work on computer.
Fact: Not more than 6 % of the case have seizures triggered by flashing lights. Playing computer games is safer than playing video games.
Myth No 5: During a seizure, putting some object in the patient’s mouth, making him smell his shoes, or restricting the limb movements will help.
Fact: One needs to ensure that the patient does not injure himself during the event, and does not aspirate; and just let the seizure run its course.
Myth No 6: Epilepsy can spread from one person to another.
Fact: Epilepsy is not an infectious disease. A certain cases are due to head injury, stroke, brain infections or tumour. In most cases, no cause can be found.
Myth No 7: The children of an PWE patient will also have epilepsy.
Fact: Epilepsy is an inherited condition in only a small percentage of cases, though the children or siblings can have a lower seizure threshold.
Myth No 8: A normal brain imaging and EEG study rules out epilepsy.
Fact: The diagnosis is usually based on an detailed and carefully taken medical history of the event. A properly done EEG with the various activation procedures can be of great help in making a diagnosis of epilepsy and further classifying it but does not exclude the diagnosis. Consulting a neurophysician is hence of utmost importance.
Myth No 9: The duration of treatment is 2 or 3 years.
Fact: The duration of treatment may vary from no treatment at all to lifelong treatment and is decided or predicted on a case to case basis by a doctor trained in managing epilepsy.
Myth No 10: Drugs for epilepsy are very toxic and have numerous side effects.
Fact: Antiepileptic drugs side effects can be minimised by choosing the appropriate drugs in the right dosage or combination with regular monitoring. In some cases epilepsy surgery is an option if the drugs are ineffective.
Also present on the occasion were Mr. Vivan Gill – Facility Director, Dr. Harpreet Brar – Admin Head, Dr. Ankush Mehta – Medical Superintendent and Dr. Ajay Pal Sandhu – Psychiatrist Fortis Hospital Ludhiana.