International Epilepsy Day

International Epilepsy Day
12 Feb 2024
9 mins
Table Of Content
International Epilepsy Day

    Epilepsy is a mental disorder that can affect the physical and mental health of individuals. That's why epilepsy patients often need physical and mental support to overcome the brainstorm in their lives. International Epilepsy Day is celebrated to create awareness about epilepsy and its managed options all over the world. Today, we are going to discuss International Epilepsy Awareness (IEA) Day and its significance in this blog. Let's explore more!


    History And Significance Of IE Day


    International Epilepsy Awareness Day was first organized by the International Bureau for Epilepsy and the International League Against Epilepsy in 2015. It is a key initiative of IGAP (Intersectoral Global Action Plan on Epilepsy and Other Neurological Disorders), a 10-year plan of the WHO (World Health Organisation). Every year, the 2nd Monday of February is designated as international epilepsy day to create awareness about epilepsy and its treatment options globally.


    This year, International Epilepsy Day is celebrated with the theme "Milestones on My Epilepsy Journey."


    Global Insights: Understanding The Pervasiveness Of Epilepsy


    Epilepsy is a chronic non-communicable brain disorder that affects a group of nerve cells, or neurons, in the brain and leads to recurrent seizures. This can be caused by a neuronal rush in sending the signal at the same time, which results in a sudden alternation in the individual's behavior.


    It is estimated that around 50 million people are affected by epilepsy all around the world, which makes it the most common neurological disorder worldwide. This shows the prevalence of this neurological disorder and the urge to spread awareness of epilepsy all over the world.

    Epilepsy And Seizure


    Epilepsy can cause many symptoms, but the main symptom of epilepsy is frequent seizures, which can vary from person to person. It can be classified into two major types based on the part of the brain that gets affected. 


    • Focal (or partial) seizures: A small portion of the brain gets affected.
    • Generalized seizures: The whole or most of the part of the brain gets affected.

    Symptoms Of Epilepsy


    Based on the type of seizure, the epilepsy symptoms can be varied. Some of the temporary symptoms of epilepsy are given below:


    • Loss of consciousness: Individuals may experience a loss of consciousness due to the generalized seizure.
    • Disturbances in movements: Individuals may experience an uncontrollable jerking and shaking, called a "fit."
    • Disturbance in Sensation (including vision, hearing, and taste): Patients with focal onset seizures during epilepsy may experience vision changes, indigestion, emotional disturbance (déjà vu or tingling), hearing disturbances, and sensation of abnormal taste or smell.
    • Psychiatric disturbance: Individuals may experience a feeling of anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and isolation.

    Causes Of Epilepsy


    Various factors can cause epilepsy, and most of them are unknown. Some known factors of epilepsy are given below:


    1. Congenital disability: Brain damage at the time of birth (loss of oxygen or trauma during birth or low birth weight) can cause epilepsy in individuals.
    2. Family history: It can be caused by genetic changes or abnormalities that can be inherited from the family member.
    3. Head injury: Individuals who have gone through a severe head injury may have a high risk of developing epilepsy.
    4. Stroke: Individuals who have a stroke that restricts the amount of oxygen to the brain are at an increased risk of epilepsy.
    5. Infection: Infections like meningitis, encephalitis, or neurocysticercosis, which affects the brain, can increase the risk of epilepsy.
    6. Genetic syndromes: Individuals with Down's syndrome and Angelman's syndrome may have a high risk of developing epilepsy.

    Diagnosis Of Epilepsy


    Epilepsy can be diagnosed by the following methods which are given below:


    • Evaluation of medical history
    • Electroencephalogram (EEG)
    • Brain scans like CT scan, CAT scan, or MRI scan

    Treatment Of Epilepsy


    Epilepsy can be treated by the following methods which are given below:


    1. Anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs): AEDs are the commonly used medical adherence for epilepsy. Medicines like sodium valproate, carbamazepine, lamotrigine, levetiracetam, and topiramate are effective in treating the symptoms of epilepsy (seizure) by changing the chemical levels in the brain.
    2. Surgery: A neurological surgeon will make a small cut in your scalp and create an opening to remove the affected part of the brain.
    3. Vagus nerve stimulator (VNS): It is a small electrical device that can be placed (skin of the chest) inside the body to stimulate the vagus nerves and control seizures.
    4. Diet plans: A ketogenic diet is a special diet that contains high fats, low carbohydrates, and protein content to control seizures in patients, especially in children.

    Prevention Options For Epilepsy


    Epilepsy can be prevented up to 25% by following proper prevention strategies. Some of the preventive measures are given below:


    • Protecting your head from injuries like falls, traffic accidents, and sports injuries can help to reduce the risk of epilepsy.
    • Perinatal care during pregnancy can help to reduce the birth injury, which can cause epilepsy.
    • Intake of proper medication during fever can help to reduce febrile seizures in children.
    • Stoke-related epilepsy can be prevented by reducing the cardiovascular (heart) risk.
    • Giving appropriate treatment for brain infections can reduce the risk of epilepsy caused by infections.

    When To Call A Doctor!


    • Inform the doctor if the person has epilepsy for more than 5 minutes of time.
    • Inform the doctor if the patient had an injury during the seizure.
    • Inform the doctor if the person has any difficulty in breathing.
    • Inform the doctor if the person is pregnant or a heart or diabetic patient.
    • Inform the doctor if the person has a continuous seizure, one after another.

    Do's And Don't During Epilepsy




    • Keep the person on the floor and gently turn them onto one side.
    • Remove any hard or sharp objects near the person.
    • Loose their ties or clothes that were around the neck.
    • Put some soft, folded clothes under the head to prevent the injury.




    • Don't give water or food at the time of seizure.
    • Don't give CPR (mouth-mouth).
    • Don't hold the person.
    • Don't put anything under the tongue or mouth of the person.



    Epilepsy is a common disorder that can affect anyone. It can be managed effectively with proper diagnosis and treatment options. We can also prevent or reduce epilepsy cases by following proper safety measures, especially at the time of birth. It is crucial to know about the risk factors in order to overcome epilepsy before it becomes worse. On this International epilepsy day, let's give our physical and mental support to every epilepsy patient around us and provide them with a protective and comfortable environment to overcome it.


    Together, we can break the stigma surrounding epilepsy!

    Written by
    Ishwarya RMedical Content writer
    AboutIshwary R is a Medical Content Writer at MrMed. She completed her PG from the University of Madras, Chennai. She did her final year project in CSIR-CLRI, Adyar, entitled Studies on production of Biosurfactant by bacillus subtilis using Leather industry bioproduct. She did her offline internship and learned clinical Laboratory skills in Billroth hospital and her online internship in SS Healthcare. She strengthened her skills in research, writing, editing, and proofreading medical content, blogs, and scientific articles.
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