Epilepsy affects 50 million people worldwide

Epilepsia afecta 50 milhões de pessoas em todo o mundo

Epilepsy affects around 50 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which highlights the importance of raising awareness about the chronic condition.

The estimated ratio of the general population with active epilepsy is four to 10 per thousand people. Worldwide, an estimated 5 million people are diagnosed with epilepsy each year. And for every 100,000 people in rich countries 49 are diagnosed and in poor countries 139. Around 80% of people with epilepsy live in low- and middle-income countries.

In around 25% of the world's cases of the non-contagious disease, the causes remain unknown. It is characterized by seizures, and 70% of those diagnosed with the disease can be made seizure-free with the proper use of appropriate medication.

Discontinuation of anticonvulsant medication can be considered after two years without seizures and should take into account relevant clinical, social and personal factors. In low-income countries, around three-quarters of people with epilepsy may not receive the treatment they need.

International Epilepsy Day is celebrated every year at the beginning of the second week of February. And according to the WHO, social stigma continues to impact on the quality of life of people and their families.

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