IBGE pointed out that more than 2,030,000 people are diagnosed with Epilepsy in Brazil
Manaus (AM) – The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) pointed out that more than 2,030,000 people are diagnosed with Epilepsy in Brazil. The disease is characterized as a neurological disorder that triggers epileptic seizures.
According to the neurologist, specialist in Epilepsy and vice-president of the Brazilian Epilepsy Association (ABE), Dr. Lécio Figueira Pinto, the symptoms of the disease are divided into two types of crisis: focal and generalized.
“In focal-onset crises, there is a change in functioning in a certain region of the brain, and the symptoms and sensations depend precisely on which part is affected. If the crisis affects the motor area, the person may have localized movements in one part of the body. If it affects the visual part, visual hallucinations, objects, colors may occur. If it starts in the temporal lobe, one of the most frequent places, there may be a change in thinking, often a feeling of deja vu (having already experienced or witnessed that sensation, moment, place)”,
pointed out the professional.
Another type of epileptic seizure reaction occurs when the person loses control of their body and begins to struggle – this is generally the most well-known reaction among the population who are not familiar with the subject.
“When the crisis spreads a little more throughout the brain, it is common for the person to have a change in consciousness, stop responding or behave in a strange way, sometimes making some repetitive movements with their hands and mouth. Finally, if the crisis spreads to both sides of the brain, a tonic-clonic crisis, popularly called a seizure, may occur, in which the person falls, struggles, drools (excessive salivation), may turn purple (cyanosis due to lack of oxygenation), you can bite your tongue and urinate on your clothes. The other group of seizures with a generalized onset, there is a change in both sides of the brain from the beginning. But depending on how the “short circuit” happens, they can have different types”,
highlighted the neurologist.
The daily struggle of families who have loved ones with the disease gained prominence in recent days, when Law No. 6,443/2023 was sanctioned, authored by deputy Joana Darc (UB), which creates the Identification Card for People with Epilepsy (CIPE) in the Amazon.
According to the legislation, at the moment, the possibility of inserting the condition of epilepsy, when duly proven by a medical report, will be in the field designated for observations on the identity card issued in the State.
“Prejudice is still very strong when someone with this condition has a crisis. So, guaranteeing the rights of these people, especially children, is essential so that we can advance public policies aimed at people with epilepsy in Amazonas”,
commented the deputy.
Representing ABE, doctor Lécio Pinto celebrates the approval of the law, as if respected correctly, it will help many families in Amazonas.
“This law is very important. It raises the possibility of identifying people with Epilepsy. I understand that this would make it easier to identify that the person already has epilepsy in the event of a crisis, which helps to direct care. From a public point of view, recognizing these people, to better provide care, in the regions and in the necessary quantity, is fundamental, even more so in such a large state where distances are major barriers like Amazonas. If used properly, and not just on paper, this law can greatly help people with epilepsy in the state,”
Objectives of the Law
Law No. 6,443/2023 will also have an updated database, annually, with the aim of obtaining the number of individuals served, type of Epilepsy, medication provided and socioeconomic profile. Furthermore, standardize technical standards for identification, education, treatment and monitoring of patients with Epilepsy in the health network.
People identified with the card will be able to receive priority and appropriate care for epilepsy patients, in order to reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures, as well as reduce the clinical and social consequences of the disease, through adequate diagnosis and treatment for patients with epilepsy, in all degrees of complexity.
Amazonas will develop a continuing education program in epilepsy for professionals in health and education networks, as well as reducing the economic and social burden of epilepsy in terms of social costs, by streamlining epilepsy treatment.
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