Changing name of epilepsy in Korea; cerebroelectric disorder (noi-jeon-jeung,뇌전증,腦電症)

My Epilepsy Story

Authors

  • Heung Dong Kim,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Epilepsy Clinic, Severance Children's Hospital, Epilepsy Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
    • Address correspondence to Heung Dong Kim, Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Epilepsy Clinic, Severance Children's Hospital, Epilepsy Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. E-mail: hdkimmd@yuhs.ac

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  • Hoon-Chul Kang,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Epilepsy Clinic, Severance Children's Hospital, Epilepsy Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
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  • Sang Ahm Lee,

    1. Department of Neurology, Ulsan University College of Medicine, Seoul Asan Hospital, Seoul, Korea
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  • Kyun Huh,

    1. Department of Neurology, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea
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  • Byung-In Lee

    1. Department of Neurology, Severance Hospital, Epilepsy Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
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Summary

Public misconception of epilepsy may lead to significant stigma to the disease itself, thereby causing impaired quality of life in people with epilepsy. Traditionally, epilepsy has been considered to be the consequence of evanescent spiritual forces, and even demonic possession (in many countries). The names of epilepsy in some East Asian countries originated from China, and include madness in their meaning. We recently changed the Korean name of epilepsy, gan-jil (간질, 癎疾: a crazy, convulsive disease having meaning similar to 癲癎), to a neutral and scientifically explainable name: noi-jeon-jeung (뇌전증; 腦電症; cerebroelectric disorder). We expect that changing the stigmatized name of epilepsy to a neutral and scientific term with the meaning of cerebroelectric disorder will reduce the social stigma by understanding of epilepsy as one of the neurologic disorders.

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