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Epilepsy Found to Be More Common in U.S. Than Thought
Date:12/28/2010

need for more research using epilepsy surveillance data, especially given the aging population in the United States," Hesdorffer said in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology. "Such surveillance will also provide useful information for health-care planners as they address the service needs of people with epilepsy."

Dr. Edwin Trevathan, dean of the St. Louis University School of Public Health and author of an accompanying editorial in the journal, said that epilepsy largely goes unnoticed, with only limited data on new cases.

"As a result, we do not have good data to inform decisions made by our health leaders, and some of our best researchers are analyzing data that are 30 to 50 years old," Trevathan said in the news release.

He urged additional congressional funding so that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can collect needed data.

"Epilepsy has a major impact on public health," Trevathan said. "A national approach to monitoring epilepsy trends is desperately needed in order to monitor the impact of improvements in epilepsy care, to identify problems with epilepsy care that need to be corrected and to provide up-to-date data for researchers."

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more on epilepsy.

SOURCES: Joseph I. Sirven, M.D., chairman-elect, professional advisory board, Epilepsy Foundation, and professor and chairman, department of neurology, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Dec. 27, 2010, news release, American Academy of Neurology; Jan. 4, 2011, Neurology


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