Epilepsy: treatment in developing countries

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By Manjari Tripathi MD

Of the 35 to 40 million people with epilepsy who live in developing countries, around 60% to 85% receive no treatment at all (Kale 2002; World Health Organization et al 2005). As a consequence, they experience morbidity related to seizures and the psychosocial consequences of stigma and discrimination. Regrettably, most of these people—many of whom are children—could have their seizures completely controlled and could return to a normal life by taking a single daily dose of a drug that costs less than $3 (£1.50; €2.20) each year (Kwan and Brodie 2004). Conducting clinical trials in resource-restricted countries is difficult, contributing to wide treatment gaps, which result from lack of resources and trained personnel, and knowledge gaps in these countries (Perucca 2007).

In This Article

Historical note
Magnitude of the burden
Etiological factors
Medical services
Treatment gap
Antiepileptic drug usage
Epilepsy surgery
References cited