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Women and epilepsy: Eminent neurologists bust myths around this neurological disorder

Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder that causes seizures or periods of unusual behaviour, sensations, and sometimes loss of awareness. It affects people of all ages. Conditions that cause damage to the brain, such as brain tumours or strokes, and infectious diseases, such as meningitis, AIDS and viral encephalitis, can cause epilepsy. Stroke is a leading cause of epilepsy in adults over 35 years. While epilepsy strikes men and women at about the same rate, it raises special reproductive and general health concerns in women. Epilepsy in pregnant women can also affect fatal growth. Research has shown that children of women with epilepsy (WWE) are at higher risk of congenital malformations compared with the general population.

Globally, about 50 million people are living with epilepsy, which accounts for a significant proportion of the world's disease burden. As per estimates, India is home to about 10 million epileptic patients. Despite the availability of advanced treatment choices for epilepsy, many patients are not seeking proper medicinal help due to the stigma and shame related to this issue. It is also less spoken about on a public platform. "Epilepsy is caused by "evil spirits" or "supernatural powers." This is one of the several myths associated with this neurological disorder. On the occasion of #Epilepsy Awareness initiative, eminent neurologists bust few myths on epilepsy and talk about various types of epilepsy and their causes.

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