Every year 26 th March is observed as PURPLE DAY or WORLD EPILEPSY AWARENESS DAY to create awareness among the public about epilepsy
The Neuro Sciences Department of Vydehi Institute of Medical Sciences in Whitefield has organized a large EPILEPSY AWARENESS PROGRAMME by wearing PURPLE on 26-3-13. On this occasion, the DIRECTOR of the Hospital Mrs. Kalpaja D released purple Balloons and a painting competition for SPECIAL CHILDREN was held with epilepsy as the theme.
Left to right: Dr.(Mrs.) S. Kantha- Advisor, Ms. Vydehi, Mrs. Kalpaja. D.A- Director, Dr.Gurumurthy- Principal,Dr.Nataraj-HOD- Neurology, Dr.Sathish Babu-HOD-Neurosurgery at Vydehi Institute if Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Bangalore on 26th March 2013
BRIEF ABOUT THE EPILEPSY
Epilepsy is called by different terms like FITS, Convulsions, and Seizure etc. It is colloquially called as Apasmara or Moorche Roga.
Every year on 26th March people from all over the world wear Purple color to show solidarity with Epilepsy affected patients and their families. A 14 year old girl Cassidy Megan who was herself an epileptic patient in Canada initiated this expression. From then on schools, colleges, hospitals and organizations all over the world have continued this unique awareness programme.
Epilepsy is common brain disorder and not a mental illness. In most cases it is a chronic disorder.
1 in 1000 people are affected by epilepsy worldwide
According to WHO 50 Million people suffer from this globally.
It is estimated that there are 10 million epilepsy patients in India
80% of the epilepsy patients in the world reside in developing countries and more than 50% of these patients have no appropriate access to treatment.
70 % of all the epilepsies respond to drugs
In 70% of the epileptics no definite cause can be demonstrated.
In different cities of India the prevalence varies from 4 to 9 per 1000 population, though the prevalence rates in rural areas is higher.
In Bangalore the prevalence is 9 per 1000 population.
Seizure is due to sudden onset of excessive electrical activity in the brain. It usually lasts for 1-3 mins. After a seizure nearly 40 to 50 % will not have any recurrence. Tendency for recurrent seizures with a secondary cause is called Epilepsy. There can be alteration in sensation, behavior, and weakness of limbs or altered level of consciousness during this time.
Epilepsy can be seen at all ages and both sexes. Commonly seen in childhood and old age. The epilepsy can be of various types ranging from simple blinking of eyes to total loss of consciousness.
Common trigger factors for epileptic seizures are
- Lack of adequate sleep
- Emotional stress
- Watching visual flickers
- Irregular medication
Most epileptic patients can lead a normal life, marry, have children, achieve academic and professional experience, play sports, etc like anyone else with proper medication and advice.
Epilepsy is a clinical diagnosis, meaning, it mainly depends on the description of the events given by the bystanders and the patient and the assessment done by the Clinician. The most important investigations done are EEG/CT SCAN/MRI SCAN of Brain along with a few blood investigations. It is extremely important to note that all the tests can be normal despite the presence of epilepsy and it is dangerous to avoid medications if all the tests are normal.
Majority of the patients require long term medication. Most respond to drug therapy and in most cases the drugs need to be taken for 2-3 years. In about 25-30%, drugs will not be beneficial and epilepsy surgery is the next option.
Do’s and Don’ts during an Epileptic Attack
- Do not try to stop the attack by restraining the patient
- Roll the patient to a side to prevent tongue fall and choking
- Protect the patient from getting injured
- Don’t put any objects into the mouth
- Allow for fresh air around the patient and avoid crowding
- Loosen the clothes
- Get a physician at the earliest
Advice to patients and care givers:
- Get examined by qualified doctors.
- Do all required investigations.
- Take medications regularly.
- Maintain disciplined sleeping and eating habits.
- Never stop drugs abruptly.
- Always keep medications in excess.
- Do not be too protective of the patient, give them their space.
- Discourage driving/swimming alone or handling machines while on drugs.
Even now the public consider, epilepsy as a curse, possession by evil spirits, insanity and bad omen. In many parts it is projected to be a contagious disease. Unfortunately, epilepsy patients face social discrimination, emotional distress and discrimination at work place, schools, organization and social functions. The Epilepsy Awareness Programme through the PURPLE DAY aims to deny the myths and fight for acceptance of Epilepsy patients as part of the mainstream society.
On this occasion the need of the hour is for all to understand the needs of the epilepsy patients and help them to lead a normal social life like all others. Hope all the state governments in the country recognize this health issue and chalk a National Epilepsy Control Programme to effectively, diagnose, investigate and medicate these patients and open centers all over the country to maintain a National Registry.
The hospital organized a function to create awareness among our students, staff and the visiting patients and their attenders. Free medicines were distributed to the patients who participated in the event.
For anyfurther information / clarification please contact.
DR H V SATISH BABU
PROF AND HEAD, NEUROSURGERY
M :- 9845574678