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NEWSWEEK Cover: The Mystery of Epilepsy
Date:4/12/2009

Why We Must Find a Cure for Epilepsy

The Toll of Epilepsy Has Been Overlooked - and the Research Underfunded -For Too Long

NEW YORK, April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- "Put harshly, we need more of a cancerlike sensibility around epilepsy," Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham writes in the April 20 cover, "The Mystery of Epilepsy" (on newsstands Monday, April 13). "We cannot usually see our friends' cancer, but we do not hesitate to invest the search for a cure for different cancers with the utmost cultural and political importance. We must now do the same with epilepsy." Meacham writes that the toll of epilepsy has been overlooked -- and the research underfunded -- for too long. Public and private funding for research lag far behind other neurological afflictions. "It is time to remedy that gap, and to raise epilepsy to the front ranks of public and medical concern," he writes.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090412/NY97676 )

"Epilepsy in America is as common as breast cancer, and takes as many lives," Meacham writes. A mysterious and widely misunderstood affliction, epilepsy is a disorder in which the brain produces sudden bursts of electrical energy that can interfere with a person's consciousness, movements or sensations. By some estimates, the mortality rate for people with epilepsy is two to three times higher -- and the risk of sudden death is 24 times greater -- than that of the general population. Yet epilepsy still receives too little attention, either from the medical community or the public at large. "One reason is that advances in drug treatments have created the popular impression that epilepsy is now an essentially manageable condition," Meacham writes. "Most people with epilepsy are
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SOURCE Newsweek
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