The occurrence of epilepsy and its seizures have been documented as far back as the human race, including in prehistoric times. An often misunderstood disease, people have turned to everything from religion to diet and natural cures to medicines and other chemical substances and even surgery to treat the disease. In today’s modern drug therapies, it is estimated that a fifth of patients get no relief at all from the drug therapies.
But today there is new hope for epilepsy patients. Dr. Orrin Devinsky has been treating epilepsy patients for 25 years and says that today the focus of managing and treating the disease is shifting from medications to lifestyle changes. “Now I think there’s a broader picture of the effect of lifestyle on epilepsy and an understanding that becoming seizure-free is not just about finding the right diagnosis, drug, and dosing, but also making sure people understand how important sleep, food, and avoiding excess alcohol are,” says Dr Devinsky.
As with every condition, each patient is unique, and measurable improvements in epilepsy patients have come about through innovative and non-invasive techniques. The future holds more promise of evolving practices and continuing research in the treatment of epilepsy.