Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Burden of epilepsy in developing world described

Date:
September 27, 2012
Source:
Wellcome Trust
Summary:
The burden of epilepsy in poorer parts of the world could be readily alleviated by reducing the preventable causes and improving access to treatment, according to a review article.

The burden of epilepsy in poorer parts of the world could be readily alleviated by reducing the preventable causes and improving access to treatment, according to a review article published September 27 in the Lancet.

The researchers call for greater recognition from international and national health agencies to address the management of epilepsy in the developing world.

Despite being one of the most cost-effective disorders to treat, there are twice as many people living with epilepsy in low- and lower-middle-income countries than higher income nations and more than 60% of those affected in these regions are not accessing any appropriate treatment.

Lead author Professor Charles Newton, who works in the Wellcome Trust programmes in Tanzania and Kenya, said: "Epilepsy needs to be brought into the agenda of non-communicable diseases. It was not mentioned in the UN General Assembly Meeting in New York to address the global burden of non-communicable diseases, and yet it represents a substantial burden of ill health."

Epilepsy is a common disorder, particularly in poor areas of the world, but deriving accurate figures on the epidemiology of epilepsy in low- and lower-middle income countries is very difficult. There have been very few surveys to gather appropriate data and such studies tend to be expensive, especially for countries whose health research funding is likely to be very limited.

Professor Newton and Professor Hector Garcia, both Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellows, conducted a comprehensive review of academic articles about epilepsy in developing countries in order to piece together a picture of the burden of the disease in poorer parts of the world.

They conclude that the high number of people with epilepsy in these regions is likely caused by the higher incidence of risk factors, such as head trauma, complications during childbirth, and parasite infections such as pork tapeworm (neurocysticercosis), and river blindness (onchocerciasis).

The study also reveals the enormity of the treatment gap in poorer nations, with over 60% of people living with epilepsy in low- and lower-middle-income countries not accessing appropriate care. This is partly due to poor adherence to prescribed treatment but there remain huge barriers to accessing care, particularly in rural areas. The stigma associated with the disorder and cultural beliefs around causation is identified as a major problem, along with distance from a health-care facility and inadequate skilled manpower.

The epilepsy burden could be easily reduced by addressing some of the risk factors, say the authors. They highlight several ways in which epilepsy care could be improved at low cost, including by engaging traditional healers who for many people are the only point of care for epilepsy. Given the lack of expertise in management of epilepsy in poorer areas, they suggest that neurologists and psychiatrists should combine to set up services for the management of epilepsy in these regions.

"Sadly, adequate facilities for diagnosis, treatment and on-going management of epilepsy are virtually non-existent in many of the world's poorest regions. Many people with epilepsy or their families do not even know that they have a disorder that can be controlled with biomedical treatment, so it is vitally important that awareness is raised and medical care improved in these regions," added Professor Newton.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wellcome Trust. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Charles R Newton and Hector H Garcia. Epilepsy in poor regions of the world. The Lancet, Volume 380, Issue 9848, Pages 1193 - 1201, 29 September 2012 DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61381-6

Cite This Page:

Wellcome Trust. "Burden of epilepsy in developing world described." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120927205459.htm>.
Wellcome Trust. (2012, September 27). Burden of epilepsy in developing world described. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120927205459.htm
Wellcome Trust. "Burden of epilepsy in developing world described." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120927205459.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins