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Leading Epilepsy Advocates Propose Strategies to Heighten Treatment Expectations and Close Patient and Physician Communication Gaps
Date:3/28/2008

r. Mark Spitz, head of the Adult Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at the University of Colorado.

Participants also discussed the need for new treatments. "We need to continue funding research and development as there is a need for drugs that help us better straddle this balance until a cure for epilepsy can be found," said Hargis.

Other recommendations for improving communication and treatment plans included:

-- Patients and caregivers should advocate for themselves and discuss

their treatment plans, side effects and what other steps can be taken

with their healthcare professionals. "As long as there is seizure

activity, there are still things that can be done or treatments that

can be tried," said Grunberg.

-- Patients should strive for a more individualized treatment plan by

sharing a daily diary or record of how they are feeling, any medication

side-effects or breakthrough seizures they experience with their

healthcare professional.

-- Patients and caregivers, as well as healthcare professionals, should

raise their standards and not settle if the patient is still

experiencing seizures or side effects. "It's not a trade-off. We may

not be able to get every patient to the point of experiencing no

seizures and no side effects, but we should never stop trying," said

Dr. Montouris.

-- Finally, panelists encouraged patients to not hesitate to seek a second

opinion when patients are not achieving their treatment goals.

Raising Public Awareness of Epilepsy

According to the survey, three-quarters of people with epilepsy and 90 percent of physicians feel that the general public is not well-informed about epilepsy. Roundtable participants agreed that this is a major cause for the stigma surrounding epilepsy and some shared their stories of how this has impacted their lives.

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SOURCE ORTHO-McNEIL NEUROLOGICS
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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