Kolkata: On National Epilepsy Day, Dr. L N Tripathy, Senior Vice Chairman, Director, and Senior Consultant Neurosurgeon at Medica Hospitals, said out of approximately 50 million people worldwide who have epilepsy, nearly 10 million live in India, making it a very common problem.
He said more people in rural areas than in cities suffer from epilepsy. There are some preventable causes that we frequently encounter, such as brain injuries, parasitic infections, and birth injuries which can cause epilepsy. Due to social taboos and the fact that some people use unapproved methods to treat their epilepsy, there is a significant treatment gap that needs to be closed.
Dr Tripathy said Primary Health workers need to be trained to raise awareness in rural areas. Additionally, epilepsy medications are readily available throughout the nation, and patients should consult their nearby neurologists for appropriate treatment. Some of these patients don’t respond to medication, and hence, may need epilepsy surgery. Patients frequently decline surgery due to the potential risks and the prolonged recovery period.
Recently, many newer surgical techniques including Stereotactic, Robotics assisted, Neuronavigational guided surgery, Transcutaneous Magnetic Stimulation, Laser ablation, etc.
offer new hope to medically refractory epilepsy patients. Patients recover faster and with reduced risk compared to conventional Epilepsy surgery. Some of these newer procedures are already being done and some will be performed in our hospital very soon as well, he added.