The Treatment Gap in Epilepsy: The Current Situation and Ways Forward

Authors

  • H. Meinardi,

    1. Department of Physiology, Leyden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands;
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  • R. A. Scott,

    1. The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, The National Society for Epilepsy, Chalfont St. Peter, Gerrards Cross, Bucks SL9 ORJ, England;
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  • R. Reis,

    1. Faculty of Political and Social-Cultural Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Anthropological Sociological Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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  • J. W. A. S. Sander On Behalf Of The Ilae Commission on the Developing World

    1. The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, The National Society for Epilepsy, Chalfont St. Peter, Gerrards Cross, Bucks SL9 ORJ, England;
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  • Address reprint requests to Executive Office ILAE, c/o Mrs Irene Kujath, Epilepsie-Zentrum Bethel, Klinik Mara I, Maraweg 21, D-33617 Bielefeld, Germany. E-mail: ILAE-secretariat@mara.de

Address correspondence to Dr. H. Meinardi at Department of Physiology, Leyden University Medical Centre, P.O. Box 9604, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands. E-mail: meinardi@wxs.nl

Abstract

Summary: This article is a summary of a workshop held by the ILAE concerning the issue of the epilepsy treatment gap in developing countries. The gap is defined in terms of those people with epilepsy who are not being appropriately treated and is the result of an array of medical, political, social, economic, and cultural factors. The situation regarding the treatment gap for various countries is reviewed, along with some of its causes. Although the overall gap is estimated to be large, a number of recent projects and interventions have been effective in delivering appropriate treatment to people with epilepsy in underresourced countries of the developing world. It is hoped that these may be transferable elsewhere and that, combined with the ILAE/IBE/WHO Global Campaign against Epilepsy and increased support from the worldwide epilepsy community, the treatment gap will begin to be bridged.

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