Epilepsy is a neurological disorder. A disorder in which nerve cell activity in the brain is disturbed, causing seizures (a seizure is a sudden attack of illness, especially a stroke or an epileptic fit (shaking non-stop)).
The occurrence of seizures is unpredictable and often dangerous, increasing the risk of injury, hospitalization, and mortality, and adversely affecting a patient’s mental health, often resulting in anxiety, depression or cognitive impairment (trouble remembering things, learning new things). Looking from a social aspect, seizures can also result in stigmatization and social exclusion, with detrimental effects on an individual’s confidence and self-esteem. However, the burden of epilepsy extends beyond the effects of seizures themselves. In particular, individuals with epilepsy are significantly more likely to have negative impacts on subjective health status and quality of life (QoL).
As per the geographical aspect, there appears to be an unequal distribution of the disease incidence and prevalence worldwide. It happens mostly in developing countries compared to the industrialized ones.
Looking at the economic aspect, epilepsy proves to be expensive in a lot of countries. For example, in a study by the NCBI, There were 285 patients (mean age, 22.6 + 12.5 years) drawn from six centers in this study. The annual cost of epilepsy per patient was INR 13,755 (USD, 344). The direct cost was INR 3,725 (USD, 93), and the indirect cost was INR 10,031 (USD, 251). Direct cost included medical consultations (INR 329), laboratory services (INR 271), hospitalization charges (INR 316), and the cost of travel to clinics (INR 659). The indirect cost included the cost of lost productivity due to seizures, its complications, or attendance to clinics. There are approximately 5 million people with epilepsy in India. The economic burden due to epilepsy to the nation is to the tune of INR 68.75 billion (USD, 1.7 billion).
The conclusion was: The annual economic burden of epilepsy in India is 88.2% of GNP per capita and 0.5% of the GNP.
Epilepsy may affect your nervous system and its functions, both voluntary and involuntary. It will also affect your circulatory system because, during a seizure, there are bursts of electrical activity (neurons) and the part of the brain where this is happening causes different symptoms, meaning, the brain will be unable to circulate proper messages to the rest of the body through its motor neurons. This indirectly affects all the systems of our body (skeletal, muscular, digestive, respiratory, etc) because the nervous and the circulatory systems are the two main systems of our body.
Although, seizures are often self-diagnosable. Some symptoms of seizures may include:
- “Not doing well” at home, school, work, or with friends.
- Symptoms of depression, anxiety, or sudden changes in mood or behavior.
- Sleep problems (also known as insomnia).
- Unexplained injuries, fainting (falls), other illnesses, or fatigue.
- Reproductive problems.
Seizures occur in 6% to 36% of transplant patients. Transplant patients undergo procedures in intensive care units and operating rooms that require sedatives, anesthetics, and narcotics with many side effects. Seizures can be a toxic side effect of many drugs used in anesthesia and the intensive care unit.
To help patients experiencing seizures, they are given anti-epileptic drugs (AED). The AED may help suppress the seizures because epilepsy is an incurable disease. Some of the medications are:
- Carbamazepine, also available as Carbagen, Tegretol, Tegretol Prolonged Release.