International Epilepsy Awareness Day – March 26 (Purple Day)
Epilepsy is a central nervous system (neurological) disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations, and sometimes loss of awareness.Purple day is an international day dedicated to increasing epilepsy awareness. Every year march 26, people around the word wear purple and host events to raise awareness of the condition. Purple day is an international grass roots level effort dedicated to increasing awareness about epilepsy worldwide started in the year 2008 by a known epileptic patient 9 year old girl by name Cassidy Megan of Canada and Epilepsy association of Nova Scotia. More than 65 million people effected by epilepsy globally, it is estimated that in every 100 people have epilepsy and out of these 50% of cases , the cause is unknown.
Quick facts about Epilepsy :
- Globally more than 65 million people are living with epilepsy. In India more than 12 million people are suffering from epilepsy. 2.2 million Americans and 3,00,000 Canadians are living with epilepsy.
- Epilepsy is not contagious. Epilepsy is not a disease. Epilepsy is not a psychological disorder. Epilepsy is one of the primary symptoms of CNS disorder.
- There is currently no ‘cure’ for epilepsy. However for 10-15% of people with epilepsy, the surgical removal of the seizure focus , the part of the brain where the persons seizure start , can eliminate all seizure activity. For more than half people with epilepsy, medication will control their seizure. Additionally, some children will outgrow their epilepsy and some adults may have a spontaneous remission.
- Some common triggers which initiate seizure activity include, forgetting to take prescribed medicines, lack of sleep, missing meals ,stress, excitement , emotional upset, menstrual cycle, hormonal changes, illness, fever, low seizure medication levels, medicines other than prescribed seizure medicine, flickering lights of computers, televisions, videos, etc…, bright sun light, street drugs can also initiate seizure activity.
First Aid to Seizure :
- Stay calm and stay with the person, let the seizure take its course. Speak calmly and explain to others what is happening.
- Move the dangerous objects out of the way. Time the seizure.
- Do not restrain the person. Loosen anything tight around the neck. Protect the patient from injury. If needed, take the person to the floor place something soft under the head.
- Do not put anything in the mouth. The person will not swallow his/her own tongue. He may injure his tongue only.
- Gently roll the person on to his or her side as the convulsive seizure subsides , to allow saliva or other fluids to drain away and keep the airway clear.
- After seizure, talk to the person reassuringly. Don’t leave until the person is reoriented. The person may need rest or sleep. Best thing would be shift the patient to the nearby hospital.
Why purple colour for purple day?
Lavender is the international colour for epilepsy and also a colour that symbolize solitude , which is representative of the feelings of isolation and loneliness that people suffering from this condition often feel. This led to purple being the colour of choice for this celebration. The very mission of purple day celebration is to educate the public and create awareness not to fear epilepsy. The goals of celebrating is to dispel myths , give hope,promote education, help employment, facilitate marriage and overcome epilepsy.
Dr. Muralee Mohan- Professor
A.B. Shetty Institute of Dental Sciences
Suraksha Dental Clinic,
Hosangadi Manjeshwara – 671323,
Ph: 04998-273544, 235111 Mob: 9845135787