Management of Epilepsy

CPD Hours: 1
Current as at 03 February 2022
Epilepsy, one of the common neurological diseases, is characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures, affecting people of all ages, gender, race and geographical location.

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“Gain an understanding of the global burden of epilepsy”

Course Content

Epilepsy, one of the common neurological diseases, is characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures, affecting people of all ages, gender, race and geographical location. Nearly 50 million people are affected worldwide with a prevalence rate of 5–10 per 1000 people which accounts for more than 0.5% of the global burden of the disease. Based on seizures, epilepsy classification has evolved into different types which are: focal epilepsy, generalized epilepsy, combined focal and generalized epilepsy, and unknown epilepsy. Additionally, according to etiology, it is classified as structural, genetic, infectious, metabolic, immune and unknown.

Global burden of epilepsy reports estimates that there are 13 million disability-adjusted life years due to epilepsy each year. Estimates of years lived with disability attributed to uncontrolled and untreated epilepsies are particularly raised in comparison to controlled epilepsies in countries with low sociodemographic indices. Of the50 million people with epilepsy in the world, 125,000 die each year, and over 80% of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. The huge burden of untreated and uncontrolled epilepsy and of epilepsy-related deaths in low- and middle-income countries calls for urgent efforts to improve access to epilepsy management.

The overall effectiveness of AED treatment is determined not only by its efficacy but also by safety and tolerability. AED medications are associated with a range of adverse effects, including central nervous system problems, idiosyncratic reactions, neurocognitive and psychiatric symptoms, and long-term complications. It has been reported that up to 88% of people taking AEDs experience a substantial negative effect on their quality of life. Adverse effects are a common cause of early treatment discontinuation and a barrier to optimizing dosage for seizure control. Some of the second-generation ASMs have demonstrated similar efficacy but better tolerability than the first-generation agents in individual comparative studies, raising the hope that the former might bring improved overall effectiveness to epilepsy treatment.

Learning Outcomes

In this session, you will:

  • Discuss the classification of epilepsy based on types of seizures
  • Gain an understanding of the global burden of epilepsy
  • Review the types of treatments for epilepsy
  • Investigate the negative effects of adverse events that can occur with treatments for epilepsy
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