Mexico’s Ministry of Health said that according to the World Health Organization (WHO), epilepsy affects 50 million people worldwide, while in Mexico there are about two million people affected by this condition, who have different treatment options.
This announcement was made in regards to the creation of the International Epilepsy Day, which will be celebrated annually on the second Monday of February, falling this year on February 9.
Lilia Núñez Orozco, president of Epilepsy Acceptance Group and vice president of the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE), said in a press release that epilepsy is a neurological disease that can affect anyone at any age. However, it often appears in childhood and adolescence, when 75 percent of cases present.
She explained that its main characteristic is the manifestation of epileptic seizures, which occur as a result of abnormal and excessive neuronal discharge in some region of the brain.
There are other manifestations of epilepsy less obvious than violent shaking, she said, such as stare vacantly, abnormal sensation in any part of the body, unpleasant odor perception and strange feeling in the stomach, among others.
Nunez Orozco said the type of epileptic seizure depends on the area of the brain affected, and in 40 percent of cases it is possible to identify a lesion in the brain through a CT scan or a MRI.
She explained that epilepsy can be controlled with medications, changes in lifestyle, and in some cases surgery to reduce or eliminate the crisis. However, if not controlled, it may have social, psychological and economic consequences.