Summary of Study Session 15
In Study Session 15, you have learned that:
- Epilepsy and dementia are conditions arising from problems in the functioning of the brain. Neither can be cured but treatment can significantly improve the quality of life of both sufferers and their families.
- There is a very large treatment gap (defined as the difference between the need for treatment and its availability) for epilepsy and dementia in developing countries, including Ethiopia.
- Traditional beliefs about epilepsy and dementia can result in prejudice and/or shame and limit the take-up of effective treatment. You should address such beliefs carefully and sensitively.
- Epilepsy can be symptomatic (when the cause is known) or idiopathic (when it is not).
- Knowledge of the details of an epileptic seizure could be useful to doctors in diagnosis.
- You should refer for immediate assessment if you suspect status epilepticus.
- Many people with epilepsy can lead symptom-free lives using antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) but should be monitored carefully in the community as seizures can return as a result of non-adherence to this medication.
- Although there is no cure, there are a range of medical and non-medical treatments for managing the symptoms of dementia.
- As with many physical conditions, it is important for people to maintain a healthy lifestyle.