TIRUCHY: Changing lifestyle where people are glued to mobile and computer screens for long and sleeplessness increase the risk of epilepsy attacks, warned neurologist Dr AM Aleem.
Speaking to TNIE on the sidelines of an event organised to mark International Epilepsy Day, he said, “Seven of 1,000 persons in the central districts suffer from epilepsy and 14 in 1,000 have a probability of suffering from it. Increased screen time in the evening and sleeplessness at an adolescent age may trigger epilepsy. People should be careful to reduce screen time and get enough sleep.”
Approximately 65 million people worldwide have epilepsy, making it one of the most common neurological diseases globally. Four to 10 of 1,000 people live with active seizures and one-third of people with epilepsy live with uncontrollable seizures because no available treatment works for them, he added.
Dr Aleem said vegetables must be cleaned thoroughly to prevent tapeworm infestation that could also cause epilepsy. Protection from head injuries by wearing helmets while riding two-wheelers and following safety practices in workplaces are also essential.
“The ability of health workers to diagnose epilepsy, availability of medicines and research and social care responses to epilepsy are just three areas of action needed at present,” said Aleem adding that treatment for epilepsy was no longer cumbersome. It can be treated easily with inexpensive daily medication.
“Investigation is cost-effective under the Ayushman Bharat Yojana and medicines are given free in government hospitals,” he added.