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Dr. Zali as keynote speaker in 13th IEA Int’l Congress

  • 28 January 2017
  • 13:10
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Dr. Zali as keynote speaker in 13th IEA Int’l Congress
“An estimated 800,000 to 1,000,000 Iranians and approximately 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy making it one of the most common neurological disorders.”Dr. Zali remarked.


Epilepsy is a chronic disorder characterized by recurrent seizures, which may vary from a brief lapse of attention or muscle jerks, to severe and prolonged convulsions. The seizures are caused by sudden, usually brief, excessive electrical discharges in a group of brain cells (neurons). In most cases, epilepsy can be successfully treated with anti-epileptic drugs.


The 13 International Epilepsy Congress of Iranian Epilepsy Association was held on 25-27 January in Tehran. Founded in 1995, IEA is on mission to raise public awareness and knowledge towards epilepsy to improve health-related quality of life for epilepsy patients and their families.


In his opening remarks before the 13 International Epilepsy Congress, Dr. Zali acknowledged the consistent efforts of IEA experts to improve the social condition and quality of life of people with epilepsy and their families.


“The prevalence of epilepsy in Iran is estimated to be between 0.2 to 1.8 percent of population which means an estimated 800,000 to 1,000,000 Iranians lives with epilepsy although the most accurate national epilepsy prevalence has yet to be released.”IRIMC President said.


Dr. Zali mentioned there are two types of epilepsy: idiopathic and Symptomatic.


The latter can be caused by brain damage from prenatal or perinatal injuries (e.g. a loss of oxygen or trauma during birth, low birth weight), congenital abnormalities or genetic conditions with associated brain malformations, and a severe head injury.


“The worldwide prevalence of epilepsy is between five and ten cases per 1,000 people. Epilepsy prevalence has been decreased in developed countries by adequate perinatal care, regular prenatal checkups and genetic testing. “He added.


“Epilepsy patients can feel isolated and suffer social stigma caused by people who still believe cruel and false myths as well as superstitions about epilepsy. However in recent years, a better understanding of the disease has led to better treatments and better integration of epilepsy patients into society.” IRIMC President remarked.


“According to WHO up to 70% of children and adults with epilepsy can be successfully treated.  Furthermore, after 2 to 5 years of successful treatment and being seizure-free, drugs can be withdrawn in about 70% of children and 60% of adults without subsequent relapse. Nowadays employers cannot legally refuse to give a person job just because she/he has epilepsy. However there are setup regulations that should be met by epilepsy patients to ensure their safety and the safety of other people.” He added.


Dr. Zali emphasized that taking regularly seizure medications is crucial to control disease and to reduce the side effects and non compliant patients would experience adverse consequences.  


Dr. Shima Naghavi, Director of International Affairs




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