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On epilepsy perception: Unravelling gaps and issues

Published:October 25, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yebeh.2022.108952

      Highlights

      • Public unawareness of nonconvulsive seizures, insufficient time in the emergency setting, and lack of trained clinicians can determine the diagnostic delay in epilepsy leading to injuries/accidents, premature mortality, and psychological/cognitive impairments.
      • Non-adherence to anti-seizure treatment has been reported in up to 42% of patients due to patients’ beliefs, drug dosing regimen, treatment side effects, and absence of patient participation in therapeutic decision-making.
      • Having epilepsy means holding a ‘different’ social position. Stigmatization of people with epilepsy affects multiple socio-professional domains causing isolation, mood disorders, and low self-esteem.

      Abstract

      Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological diseases, but it can sometimes be under-reported or have a time delay in diagnosis. This data is not surprising if we consider that a person often seeks medical attention only after presenting a generalized tonic-clonic seizure. Epilepsy diagnostic delay is caused by several factors: under-reporting by patients, under-diagnosed epileptic manifestations by inexperienced clinicians, and lack of time in the emergency setting. The consequences of this delay are increased accidents, a high rate of premature mortality, and economic expanses for the healthcare system. Moreover, people with epilepsy have a higher probability of comorbidities than the general population, such as mood disorders or cognitive problems. Along with recurrent seizures, these comorbid diseases promote isolation and stigmatization of people with epilepsy, who suffer from discrimination at school, in the workplace, and even in social relationships. Public awareness of epilepsy and its comorbidities is necessary to prevent diagnostic delays and overcome social and professional iniquities for people with epilepsy.

      Keywords

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