Can community-based interventions help to close the epilepsy treatment gap?

More than 50 million people have epilepsy; about 80% live in lower- or middle-income countries, where diagnosis and treatment can be difficult or impossible. The percentage of people with epilepsy that is not receiving treatment is known as the treatment gap; in some countries, this gap exceeds 90%.

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Suspended studies and virtual lab meetings: How the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting epilepsy researchers

How was epilepsy research forced to morph during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic? Researchers from 11 countries shared their experiences and thoughts on the future of laboratory research, clinical trials, and in-person conferences.

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Improving treatment for psychogenic seizures: “This is a group of patients that we are taking less seriously”

Journal prize winner Benjamin Tolchin tested motivational interviewing to help people with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) start and continue psychotherapy. Often mistaken for epilepsy, these seizures cause serious problems, yet many health care professionals discount them as “not real.”

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When seizures don’t stop: What’s the latest in treating status epilepticus?

When seizures last longer than about 5 minutes–a condition called status epilepticus–emergency treatment is required. About two-thirds of people respond to initial treatment with benzodiazepines, but the others need a second drug. Which drug to choose is a matter of some debate.

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Post-ictal psychosis: A medical emergency for people with epilepsy

About 70% of people with epilepsy report post-seizure (post-ictal) complications, ranging from fatigue to memory issues to headache. Post-ictal psychosis while rare, is perhaps the most dramatic of these. As many as 7% of people with temporal lobe epilepsy develop PIP, which can cause suicidal behavior or interpersonal violence. The condition requires immediate attention and treatment.

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Reducing the epilepsy treatment gap in Pakistan: Start small, stay flexible, never give up

In retrospect, Pakistan’s effort to reduce the treatment gap can appear painstakingly planned, like the blueprints for a shopping complex or a neighborhood. But the secret of the country’s success is not rooted in elaborate planning. Nor did it rely on generous funding or government support.

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