New Delhi: Noting that lack of awareness about the effects of mobile phone, doctors here said the prolonged state of anxiety caused by its use can aggravate seizures in epilepsy patients.
The doctors had converged at a day-long event on 'International Epilepsy Day' on Tuesday. The event was hosted by Indian Spinal Injuries Centre.
They called for a comprehensive treatment regimen through the use of safer alternatives and improved understanding of the disease, especially among the care-givers of the patients.
Prof Manjari Tripathi (neurologist), AIIMS, Prof Satish Jain, director of Indian Epilepsy Centre, Dr A K Sahani, senior consultant, neurology, ISIC, were among the key speakers on the occasion.
Addressing the gathering, Dr Sahani said that talking over mobile phones for a short time is not detrimental to the health of a person with epilepsy. However, the person prolonged talk over mobile should be avoided as it has been seen that radiations have a role to play in increasing the risk of seizures.
But if it's essential to use mobile, he said, “It would be better to use a hands-free device or the speaker of the phone.”
Speaking about the lesser-known aspects of the disease, Dr Manjari Tripathi said, "Not many are aware that epilepsy may cause death too. Epilepsy patients may suffer from Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) and die due to seizure or respiratory failure – most of such patients are male and on medication to treat refractory epilepsy, i.e. epilepsy that does not respond to medicines.”
Pointing out that one in 1,000 patients falls prey to SUDEP annually, described the factor as the leading cause of death in people suffering from uncontrolled seizures.
He advised doctors treating epileptic women with pregnancy or planning pregnancy to prescribe safer alternatives to medicines. He said, “Certain types of medicines for epilepsy caused women to give birth to children with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). Such children may continue to grow as adults with issues such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other neurological problems.”
Experts at the event took note of the concerns of epilepsy patients, especially those who do not respond to treatment or have a special condition such as organ transplant or failure, dialysis, etc. A quiz and a 'nukkad natak' were also staged during the event to dispel myths surrounding epilepsy.