International Epilepsy Day 2024: 5 myths regarding epilepsy and seizures | Hindustan Times
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International Epilepsy Day 2024: 5 myths regarding epilepsy and seizures

Published on Feb 12, 2024 07:00 AM IST

This International Epilepsy Day 2024, we debunk 5 myths and share facts you must know regarding epilepsy and seizures

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The lack of awareness about epilepsy and seizures is a startling reality that often goes unnoticed and while many people have a general understanding of what epilepsy is, there remains a significant gap in knowledge about the condition and its impact on individuals' lives. This International Epilepsy Day, it is crucial to recognise that epilepsy is not merely experiencing occasional seizures and can profoundly affect someone's physical, mental and emotional well-being. In an interview with Zarafshan Shiraz of HT Lifestyle, Dr Pankaj Agarwal, Senior Consultant Neurologist and Head of the Department of Neurology at Global Hospitals in Mumbai's Parel, shared, “This lack of awareness can lead to stigmatization and discrimination against those living with epilepsy, further complicating their everyday experiences.  An inadequate understanding of epilepsy can result in delayed or improper treatment for those affected by the condition. We aim to bust myths regarding epilepsy and seizures.” He dispelled the myths surrounding epilepsy and seizures - (Shutterstock) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Feb 12, 2024 07:00 AM IST

The lack of awareness about epilepsy and seizures is a startling reality that often goes unnoticed and while many people have a general understanding of what epilepsy is, there remains a significant gap in knowledge about the condition and its impact on individuals' lives. This International Epilepsy Day, it is crucial to recognise that epilepsy is not merely experiencing occasional seizures and can profoundly affect someone's physical, mental and emotional well-being. In an interview with Zarafshan Shiraz of HT Lifestyle, Dr Pankaj Agarwal, Senior Consultant Neurologist and Head of the Department of Neurology at Global Hospitals in Mumbai's Parel, shared, “This lack of awareness can lead to stigmatization and discrimination against those living with epilepsy, further complicating their everyday experiences.  An inadequate understanding of epilepsy can result in delayed or improper treatment for those affected by the condition. We aim to bust myths regarding epilepsy and seizures.” He dispelled the myths surrounding epilepsy and seizures - (Shutterstock)

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Myth #1: Epilepsy is very rare Fact: Epilepsy impacts millions of people in the country and is a prevalent neurological disorder. Factors such as head injury, brain infection, stroke, brain tumour, Alzheimer's disease, brain malformation and genetic predisposition are known to contribute to its development. It is commonly seen in people of all age groups. (Photo by Pixabay) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Feb 12, 2024 07:00 AM IST

Myth #1: Epilepsy is very rare Fact: Epilepsy impacts millions of people in the country and is a prevalent neurological disorder. Factors such as head injury, brain infection, stroke, brain tumour, Alzheimer's disease, brain malformation and genetic predisposition are known to contribute to its development. It is commonly seen in people of all age groups. (Photo by Pixabay)

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Myth #2: Epilepsy and seizures mean exactly the same thing. Fact: Seizures occur when there is a temporary disruption in the brain's electrical activity. Few people will experience a seizure at some stage in their life. It's important to note that experiencing a single seizure does not necessarily indicate epilepsy. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder distinguished by recurrent seizures. (Shutterstock) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Feb 12, 2024 07:00 AM IST

Myth #2: Epilepsy and seizures mean exactly the same thing. Fact: Seizures occur when there is a temporary disruption in the brain's electrical activity. Few people will experience a seizure at some stage in their life. It's important to note that experiencing a single seizure does not necessarily indicate epilepsy. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder distinguished by recurrent seizures. (Shutterstock)

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Myth #3: Epilepsy always causes convulsions, which involve shaking and jerking. Fact: Seizures come in various forms, each with distinct symptoms. These may include motor symptoms such as jerking movements, muscle weakness or rigidity and twitching or spasms. Non-motor symptoms can also occur, such as staring spells, changes in sensation, emotions, thinking or cognition, or a lack of movement. (Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay ) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Feb 12, 2024 07:00 AM IST

Myth #3: Epilepsy always causes convulsions, which involve shaking and jerking. Fact: Seizures come in various forms, each with distinct symptoms. These may include motor symptoms such as jerking movements, muscle weakness or rigidity and twitching or spasms. Non-motor symptoms can also occur, such as staring spells, changes in sensation, emotions, thinking or cognition, or a lack of movement. (Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay )

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Myth #4: Epilepsy is always triggered by flashing lights and video games or stress. Fact: This form of epilepsy is more prevalent in younger individuals and tends to decrease in frequency as they age. Seizure triggers differ from person to person and can be influenced by factors such as sleep deprivation, stress, alcohol or drug use, fever or illness, hormonal changes, nutrition, or certain medications.(Shutterstock image) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Feb 12, 2024 07:00 AM IST

Myth #4: Epilepsy is always triggered by flashing lights and video games or stress. Fact: This form of epilepsy is more prevalent in younger individuals and tends to decrease in frequency as they age. Seizure triggers differ from person to person and can be influenced by factors such as sleep deprivation, stress, alcohol or drug use, fever or illness, hormonal changes, nutrition, or certain medications.(Shutterstock image)

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Myth #5: Epilepsy is a psychiatric condition. Fact: Epilepsy is a neurological disorder caused by abnormal electrical brain activity, and it is often accompanied by depression and anxiety. The unpredictability of seizures and the fear of discrimination create a stigma that impacts the quality of life for those with epilepsy. So, epilepsy should not be classified as a psychiatric disease. (Shutterstock) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Published on Feb 12, 2024 07:00 AM IST

Myth #5: Epilepsy is a psychiatric condition. Fact: Epilepsy is a neurological disorder caused by abnormal electrical brain activity, and it is often accompanied by depression and anxiety. The unpredictability of seizures and the fear of discrimination create a stigma that impacts the quality of life for those with epilepsy. So, epilepsy should not be classified as a psychiatric disease. (Shutterstock)

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