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Suicidal tendencies high among people with epilepsy – experts


LAGOS – Medical experts have said that although the exact causes of epilepsy were unknown, it could be managed through either a drug therapy or surgery.

Dr Ayoyimika Adeife, a neurologist at Dolu Medical Centre, Egbeda, Lagos, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos.

Adeifa, however, said many contributing factors had been identified to include low oxygen during birth, brain tumors or head injuries due to accidents in adulthood. She said epilepsy was a disorder sparked by sudden recurrent abnormal electrical activity in the brain that causes the patient to lose consciousness and control of the body.[eap_ad_1] She said that the patient might foam from the mouth, bite the tongue, experience uncontrollable shaking, and even urinate on his or her body. Adeife expressed concern that people with epilepsy were often stigmatised and rejected due to the belief that such seizures were signs of spiritual attack. “Many people with this disorder live with an ever present fear of having seizures in public places. “The condition often affects the live of people with epilepsy because their friends, families and coworkers relate with them differently. “This bad treatment has caused many people with epilepsy to suffer increased risk of poor self-esteem, depression, and suicidal tendencies,” she said. Another neurologist, Dr Sunday Adeoye, said the best method of diagnosing the disorder was through brain scan. He, however, said it was unfortunate that machines required to perform the scan were expensive and not easily accessible to many Nigerians. “Many cases of epilepsy can be prevented by wearing seatbelts, bicycle helmets, and taking other precautionary measures against head injuries,” he said. Adeoye advised people to diligently treat any heart problems, infections, hypertension and other conditions that could affect the brain and result in epilepsy. He said that 80 per cent of epileptics could be treated with anti-convulsive drugs to reduce the frequency of seizures. He said surgery was an optional treatment, adding that about a third of the patents could not be controlled with drugs.

He stated that very few epilepsy surgeries were performed in the country. (NAN)[eap_ad_4]

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