It's not a disease...
angry doc learnt something new today - apparently, epilepsy is not a disease.
Epilepsy talks soon for professionals and the public
Letter from GRACE TAN Chairman, Singapore Epilepsy Foundation
We refer to the letter, "Boy with fits just left to rest" (Aug 14) by Mdm Yue Lai Theng.
The Singapore Epilepsy Foundation (SEF) agrees with Mdm Yue's concern about the importance of promoting public awareness of epilepsy (commonly known as fits or seizures).
Epilepsy is not a disease, and it is not contagious. It is a common neurological disorder that causes sudden, uncontrollable electrical surges in the brain. These brief interruptions in brain activities cause periods of altered awareness, known as seizures, whose nature and intensity vary from person to person of any age.
One of the SEF's objectives is to promote greater awareness and information on epilepsy and its management to the general public especially to teachers at pre-schools (including childcare centres), mainstream and special schools.
The basic understanding of first aid for epilepsy will help provide comfort to the individual who has a seizure and will ensure minimal harm during and after the occurrence of the seizure.
In the coming months, the SEF, in collaboration with the medical teams of public hospitals and professionals in neurology, will be organising a series of talks on epilepsy awareness and management for healthcare professionals, teachers, caregivers and the public. Please visit our website at www.epilepsy.com.sg for details to be announced or email your enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
angry doc was wondering why all his patients with epilepsy were coming to see him and taking medication if they weren't suffering from a disease.
Turns out they have a *disorder* and not a *disease*.
The SEF is not the only organisation to state that 'epilepsy is not a disease'; google the phrase and you will find literally hundreds of sites proclaiming the same.
Epilepsy may not be a single disease entity with one single causation or pathology, and you can even argue that the term epilepsy is properly a sign and not a diagnosis; so why do angry doc and his colleagues continue to use the term epilepsy?
Well, a lot of it is probably 'historical', but a lot of it is because the term is convenient and useful in daily practice - whether you call it a disease or a disorder, patients with epilepsy first require a work-up, then monitoring, and in many cases treatment.
angry doc is all for promoting awareness of the condition and its management, but he doesn't really see the point in making the point that epilepsy is not a disease.
Maybe he just needs to attend one of these awareness talks...