Advances in genetics have changed epilepsy treatment

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For centuries, it was referred to as a sacred disease and the afflicted sought treatment in temples rather than the physician’s shop. Little has changed in the way people look at epilepsy over the years, although treatment and diagnosis of the neurological disorder has made rapid strides.

Dr Samuel F Berkovic is among those who have done extensive research on the causes of epilepsy, hoping, in the process, to break the stigma that still shrouds the often dehumanising ailment characterised by seizures. On Sunday, the director of the Epilepsy Research Centre at Austin Health, Australia, answered several questions linked to epilepsy, which affects nearly 50 million people worldwide and 10 million in India.

“If you had asked me in the ’70s about the cause of epilepsy, I wouldn’t have had an answer backed by science,” began Dr Berkovic, delivering the 37th T S Srinivasan…

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