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Press Release

The WHO Health Day, the German Chapter of the International League Against Epilepsy is still the current text of the so-called. Heidelberg the following statement: 

25th European Epilepsy explanation October 1998 

At a meeting in Heidelberg on 25 October 1998, unanimously over 100 head of European trade associations and lay organizations, representatives of WHO and health experts from governments and universities, the following declaration:

- Six million people in Europe currently suffer from epilepsy. Fifteen million will have epilepsy at some point in their life.

- Epilepsy has profound physical, psychological and social consequences.

- In children, adolescents and elderly people are diagnosis and adequate treatment failed most often.

- With proper treatment, could more than three-quarters of people with epilepsy lead a normal life without seizures.

- Epilepsy costs the countries of Europe each year, more than 20 billion ECU. This amount could be significantly reduced through effective measures. 

We appeal to governments in Europe, the European Union and all those responsible in healthcare, us (against International League Epilepsy) at work for the goals of the WHO (World Health Organization), the ILAE and the IBE (International Bureau Epilepsy) proclaimed worldwide campaign against epilepsy, to support actively and aggressively. 

They demandd action mainly to 

- To improve the understanding of epilepsy among the public and thereby reduce the stigma associated with it

- Discrimination against people with epilepsy, to eliminate the workplace parties to provide a better understanding of their disease and empower them to seek adequate treatment and to live a full life

- The knowledge of health professionals and other professionals about epilepsy in training to raise further education and training - to ensure the availability of modern tools, equipment, trained personnel and the full range of medicines for epilepsy, so that an accurate diagnosis and the successful treatment can be derived

- To promote research on epilepsy and its treatment 

- Close cooperation between governments, the health and social services and those responsible for promoting the national chapters of ILAE and IBE 

- To support the publication of a White Paper in terms of a detailed scientific survey on health epilepsy in Europe

- Grant to countries within and outside Europe, with underdeveloped epilepsy services, practical support. 

Background information 

Epilepsy is in every country the most common serious brain disease, and possibly the most widespread health problem at all. It occurs in all ages, especially in childhood and older age, and in all races and social classes. Globally more than 40 million people have epilepsy. Hundreds of millions have epilepsy at some point in their life.

Epilepsy is widely misunderstood, which leads to fear, secrecy, stigma and the risk of social and legal condemnation by itself. In some European countries, epilepsy is still not perceived as a brain disorder, and up to 40 ° / o of epilepsy patients may go untreated, there exists a treatment gap. The life expectancy of people with epilepsy is reduced. In special risk groups, mortality can be compared to the average population to double or more increase.

The ILAE has recommendations, Appropriate standards of epilepsy care in Europe "was published. The treatment of people with epilepsy, however, is often in the hands of this task adequately trained professionals. In some countries, anti-epileptic drugs do not get regular or unaffordable. In . a number of European countries, the diagnostic possibilities of defective or inadequate, although studies have shown the WHO and World Bank that epilepsy is a significant economic burden, have only very few European countries, national epilepsy plans Epilepsy has profound physical, psychological and social consequences.:

- Many children with epilepsy do not receive adequate education. 

- The unemployed rate in epilepsy patients is disproportionately high, which is mainly due to lack of knowledge of the employer. She is two to three times higher than the average rate and is higher than that of people with other disabilities. 

- Many patients hide their disease. This contributes to social isolation and lowered self-esteem and can lead to helplessness and depression.

- Many people with epilepsy do not know enough about their disease. Women with epilepsy are often inadequately informed about pregnancy and birth.

- The quality of life of older people is often compromised by undetected epilepsy.

- A serious problem for many epileptics restrictions are independent of the movement.

The objectives of the global campaign against epilepsy, the WHO, the International League Against Epilepsy and the International Epilepsy offices are:

- Improve the perception of epilepsy as a universal, treatable brain disease in public and professionals

- To raise the acceptance of epilepsy in public life to a new level

- Promote public and professional education about epilepsy

- Identify the needs of people with epilepsy at national and regional level

- Call on governments and health authorities to address the needs of people with epilepsy including awareness, education, diagnosis, treatment, care, support services and prevention.