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Feb 15, 2022

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological diseases worldwide with 50 million diagnosed patients, and 80% of them living in low to middle-income countries. Epilepsy can be diagnosed in patients of any age, ethnicity, and gender.

There are several root causes for Epilepsy, that range from:

  • genetic - runs in the family.
  • head Injuries - head trauma from car accidents.
  • brain abnormalities - abnormalities like brain tumours or vascular malformations.
  • infectionsparasitic infections, HIV and, viral encephalitis can cause epilepsy. 
  • injuries before birth - the brain of a baby is extremely sensitive before birth and things like infection in the mother, poor nutrition, or oxygen deficiencies could cause brain damage to the baby.

Epilepsy has psychological and physical symptoms and signs, that if detected early, make managing the risk of fatalities much easier. However, most causes of epilepsy are difficult to identify but they are tracible to the abovementioned root causes.

Some of the signs and symptoms to look out for include:

  • sudden confusion.
  • fainting or loss of awareness.
  • muscle stiffness.
  • deja vu, anxiety, or fear.
  • uncontrollable jerking movement of limbs.

As a central nervous system disorder, Epilepsy can cause seizures. Two uncommon life-threatening complications arise from epilepsy, the first is Status epilepticus. This occurs when you experience a seizure lasting longer than five minutes which could result in permanent brain damage. The other is Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy. The cause is still unknown but is linked to heart or respiratory conditions, but this risk of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy is relatively small. In extreme cases, some seizures have caused fatalities like drowning, car accidents, pregnancy complications, and psychological issues leading some to suicide.

There are various methods you can use to manage and treat epilepsy efficiently to reduce seizures or stop them completely. 


  1. Medication - Anti-epileptic drugs like levetiracetam, topiramate and, sodium valproate
  2. Surgery - A small cut in your scalp to extract and remove the damaged/affected part of the brain. After a week or two, you should be back to normal.

Bestmed medication and chronic benefits

Know your chronic benefits! Visit the Bestmed website and find your epilepsy formulary for 2022 or your list of benefits or chronic.

Mayo Clinic. (2021, October 07). Retrieved from Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/epilepsy/symptoms-causes/syc-20350093
NHS. (2020, September 18). Epilepsy treatment. Retrieved from NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/epilepsy/treatment/
World Health Organisation. (2022, February 09). Epilepsy. Retrieved from World Health Organisation: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/epilepsy#:~:text=Globally%2C%20an%20estimated%205%20million,as%20139%20per%20100%20000.

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