Epilepsy day: how a child made the whole world solve a problem

Purple Day © depositphotos.com

On March 26, the whole world celebrates World Epilepsy Day. Events on this occasion are aimed at educating people about what epilepsy is, as well as supporting those suffering from this ailment. Find out the history of the so-called Violet Day and what is the essence of this disease.

History of Violet Day

The founder of Violet Day was the 9-year-old girl Cassidy Megan in 2008. The child suffered from epilepsy and because of an ailment, relations with peers were difficult. Even now, the disease is covered in many myths, and 11 years ago, epilepsy was perceived as a sentence, which was put on a par with a serious mental disorder or even insanity.

Purple day Epilepsy © depositphotos.com

The girl invented World Epilepsy Day in order to prove her usefulness and ability to lead the same life as ordinary people. According to the original plan, on March 26, everyone can support people who have been diagnosed with epilepsy.

The society quickly drew attention to the idea of ​​the girl, and her initiative was supported by the Association of Epilepsy of Nova Scotia (province of Canada), and then by other organizations around the world. The following year, about 100 thousand students supported the Violet Day, and after them – about 100 public associations and more than 100 well-known politicians. Even the Toronto television tower turned purple one evening.

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And now, every year on March 26, many countries carry out an information campaign about the disease and about first aid, which must be provided in case of a seizure. Moreover, a number of events are usually held aimed at raising funds for epilepsy sufferers: auctions, fairs, concerts and competitions, and more.

What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is one of the most common chronic neurological diseases in humans. It has nothing to do with mental disorders and in developed countries is treated by neuropathologists, not psychiatrists.

Purple day Brain cells © depositphotos.com

The disease occurs because some cells of the cerebral cortex begin to work more actively than others, suppressing other neurons. As a result, all cortical cells undergo simultaneous overexcitation. So the attack begins: convulsions, loss of consciousness, fall, foam from the mouth. Why do cells begin to behave like this? The reasons may be different: head injury, stroke, meningitis and other diseases.

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Epilepsy can occur at any age, but in 70% of cases, the first attacks occur in children and adolescents. But this does not mean that people of advanced age are insured from it. After all, they also have their own prerequisites for acquiring this ailment: previous infections, neurological diseases, for example, strokes.

How is epilepsy treated?

Epilepsy is one of the few chronic diseases when the achievement of stable remission is possible: people study freely, work, get married and give birth to healthy children, lead a normal, full life. This is facilitated by both medical treatment and simple individual rules regarding nutrition and lifestyle.

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At the moment, pharmacists have created more than 30 drugs that fight epilepsy in different ways. In half of the patients, epileptic seizures go away after they have taken up to 3 different drugs. The main thing is to take all prescribed drugs on time.

Purple day Ketogenic diet © depositphotos.com

However, there remain those patients who are not affected by any drug. Then the treatment option may be surgery. Too active cells are simply cut out, and the person lives on completely healthy.

But here there are pitfalls. It is not always possible to carry out this operation, since the cells can be located throughout the cerebral cortex or in places where the cells are responsible for vital functions for the body. Doctors have found a way out here – a neurostimulator. When activity occurs in the focus of the disease, the device sends an impulse that is designed to stop the attack.

A person can protect himself from repeated attacks and himself, observing the rules:

avoid alcoholic intoxication do not smoke well get enough sleep do not leave the house hungry less nervous – the body should be comfortable to keep a diary on the number of attacks.

Purple day Purple Day © depositphotos.com

The patient is also often prescribed a ketogenic diet rich in fats. The essence of the diet is that it stimulates the body to use more fat and less glucose to release energy. That is why patients should not drink mineral water, since it contains various trace elements and gases. If the diet requires it, the doctor may ask you to reduce physical activity, or even prescribe bed rest. But there must be good reason for this.

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Remember that epilepsy does not mean mental retardation or lack of intelligence. Among the sick, there are many smart and talented people. According to some reports, many famous personalities suffered from epilepsy. Among them are Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Nostradamus, Dante Alighieri, Ivan the Terrible, Napoleon Bonaparte, Fedor Dostoevsky, Alfred Nobel and Vincent van Gogh.

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Angelo L. Lyons

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