Kochi: Amid growing concerns over poor control of seizures among Persons with Epilepsy in the country after the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 – better known as SARS Covid-2 experts say that early detection and strict compliance to treatment and diligent medical follow up can save precious lives.  This assumes significance since India has emerged as the epilepsy capital of the world with one out of every five epileptic patients in the world hailing from the country. According to WHO estimates, around 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy and of this approximately 12 million are in India.

 In simple terms, seizures occur due to abnormally increased activation of neurons and when two or more unprovoked seizures occur at more than 24 hours’ interval, it qualifies for a diagnosis of epilepsy. Epilepsy incidence shows an age-dependent bimodal peak, first in children below five years and the second in elderly above 65 years of age.

“We observe an alarming increase in seizure burden among persons with epilepsy. However, the situation can be brought under control if the disease is detected early and proper treatment given and is compiled strictly. One of the best options to ensure this is regular follow up with the treating doctor which if difficult physically.  Therefore, it can be best done over telecommunication services which is widely available in most of the hospitals.”, said Dr Soumya V.C, Neurologist at Lourdes Hospital here. Dr Soumya is a leading epilepsy expert with an experience spanning over 5 years and worked at various leading hospitals in the state at varied capacities.

She said, in the management of children with epilepsy, parents and teachers should chip in with their tender care and keen observation. “In my view this is central to the management of this condition and is equally important as medication itself. This is because a knowing and caring eco-system at home and learning centers is essential to take the best possible remedial steps, especially when children have onset of epilepsy very early in life as they experience a high degree of cognitive and behavioral comorbidity. Comorbidities are more frequent among children who develop drug-resistant seizures and those with a high seizure burden”, she added.