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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 September, 2003, 05:32 GMT 06:32 UK
Epilepsy rates' deprivation link
Brain scan
Epilepsy is the tendency to have recurrent seizures
People from deprived areas are five times more likely to develop epilepsy, a study has found.

Research carried out in the south west of Glasgow discovered a lower rate of epilepsy among those from wealthier areas.

The full results of the study will be unveiled at a conference in the city on Wednesday.

An epileptic seizure is caused by over-activity of the brain cells, which produces a surge of electricity.

The study is also expected to show that UK Government guidelines on treating epilepsy are not being properly implemented across Scotland.

Currently across the UK, about one person in 200 has epilepsy.

But in the worst affected areas covered by the study, up to five people in every 200 were found to have the disease.

And 70% of all patients with epilepsy in the local health care co-operative lived in areas with the highest social work deprivation scores.

More work needed

The study was carried out because doctors throughout south west Glasgow wanted to improve epilepsy care.

They claim that up to 30% of cases are misdiagnosed because of supposed poor services.

They want to develop improved services along the lines of those already used for diabetes or high blood pressure.

But the authors of the study said it raises more questions than it answers and are calling for more research.

Epilepsy may be caused by a variety of factors, such as brain damage from birth injuries, head injury, stroke, brain tumours and alcoholism.




SEE ALSO:
Teachers given epilepsy warning
14 May 03  |  Scotland
Epilepsy diagnosis warning
05 Mar 02  |  Health


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