Epilepsy is the most common serious neurological condition. According to the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE), about one in every 100 people has epilepsy, with a higher incidence in developing countries. It is characterised by recurrent seizures and is especially common in children and the elderly.
Epilepsy can have a profound physical, psychological and social impact on the lives of those afflicted with the disease. Fortunately treatments do exist, and half of epilepsy patients are seizure-free with their first anti-epileptic drug. However, about one third live with uncontrolled seizures because they have not found a medication that works for their particular condition.
Raising awareness of epilepsy is one way to help bring us closer to finding solutions for its different medical and social challenges. Each year International Epilepsy Day raises awareness of this disease in 120 countries around the world. On the second Monday of each February people join together in solidarity with and support people with epilepsy, their families and their caretakers. This year International Epilepsy Day takes place on February 8th and will focus on public education.
International Epilepsy Day is a joint initiative by the IBE and the International League Against Epilepsy. There are many ways to get involved, like attending one of the many Epilepsy Day Events happening around the globe or posting information about Epilepsy Day on social media.
This year a photography competition will be held, entitled Yes I can, and selected entries will be on display at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, helping to put the issue of epilepsy care and research on the political agenda.
EIT Health supports the effort to improve the lives of people living with epilepsy and various partners within our network work specifically towards this aim.
Union Chimique Belge (UCB), for example, is a multinational biopharmaceutical company specialised in chronic diseases. It supports the epilepsy community by focusing on three key areas:
- Unlocking the match of the right solution for the right patient at the right time;
- Decreasing the time to seizure control; and
- Addressing the current gap in solutions for patients.
We look forward to seeing UCB’s new developments in epilepsy treatment and wish great success to International Epilepsy Day!