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Epilepsy – Myths and Facts

Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder in the world. Epilepsy surges electrical activity in the brain that can cause recurring seizures. Epilepsy is a chronic neurological condition, and the hallmark of this condition is recurrent and unprovoked seizures. 

Approximately 5-10 out of 1000 people suffer from epilepsy globally. A person is said to have epilepsy if they have at least two seizures that were caused by some unknown reasons. Though the seizures in epilepsy could be related to a brain injury or a family tendency, often the cause is completely unknown.

Anybody at any age can be affected by epilepsy. Epilepsy can affect one’s safety, work, driving, relationships, and more. The social stigma associated with epilepsy and how people react to a person with epilepsy is nowadays a bigger problem than the disease itself. 

Myths and Facts

There are certain common myths attached to epilepsy. An awareness of the facts of these myths needs to be spread in our society. Let’s take a look at those prominent myths and understand the facts associated. 

Myth: Epilepsy will mentally disable a person and can prevent the person from having a worthwhile career and leading a meaningful life.

Fact: People with epilepsy can definitely join most professions, except for a few ones like armed forces, pilots, drivers of public transport vehicles, etc. Many famous artists, scientists, philosophers, and, world leaders have suffered from epilepsy. The eminent names include Socrates, Napoleon, Tolstoy, Alexander, Newton, Beethoven, and, Agatha Christie


Myth: People with epilepsy cannot marry or have kids

Fact: People with epilepsy can have a normal married and sexual life. They can also plan a pregnancy under medical supervision.


Myth: People with epilepsy cannot take part in sports activities.

Fact: People with epilepsy can take part in most sports with supervision. Activities like swimming, water sports, mountaineering, and aero sports are advisable to be avoided.


Myth: Persons who get epilepsy attacks should not watch TV or work on computers.

Fact: Studies show that a maximum of 6 % of the cases have seizures triggered by flashing lights. Playing computer games is considered safer than playing video games.


Myth: The children of an epilepsy patient are also likely to have epilepsy.

Fact: In only a small percentage of cases, epilepsy is said to be caused by an inherited condition, though the children or siblings can have a lower seizure threshold.


Myth: A normal brain imaging and EEG study rules out epilepsy.

Fact: The diagnosis of epilepsy is based on a detailed and carefully taken medical history of the event. A precisely done EEG with various activation procedures helps in the diagnosis of epilepsy and further is also useful in classifying it. Consulting a neurologist is of utmost importance.


Myth: The treatment duration is 2-3 years.

Fact: The duration of treatment can vary from no treatment at all to lifelong treatment. Treatment is decided on a case-to-case basis by a doctor trained in managing epilepsy.


Myth: Drugs used to treat epilepsy can have numerous side effects.

Fact: The side effects of antiepileptic drugs can be minimised by choosing the appropriate drugs in the right dosage in combination with regular monitoring. And in some cases, epilepsy surgery is an option if the drugs turn ineffective.


Key Take Away

Timely and precise diagnosis, appropriate medication, combined with effective techniques to manage the condition will help reduce the complexities.

Consult our panel of specialists for expert guidance and support. We offer the latest in neurological care. Our innovative therapies, novel techniques, and clinical trials are developed by our world-class experts. Our neurologists have successfully treated many patients each year, including those with complex or rare conditions.


Consult our department of neurology for precise diagnosis and treatment options for epilepsy, aneurysms, spinal bifida, movement disorders, dementias, stroke, brain tumours, multiple sclerosis, headache, neuromuscular diseases, peripheral nerve tumours, paralysis, nerve pain, sleep disorders, speech disorders, and many other conditions.


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