Epilepsy affects people's quality of life not only from a physical and mental point of view but also socially at school or in the workplace.
A recent population study on the prevalence of epilepsy led by the Spanish Neurology Society (EPIBERIA) has found more than 704,000 cases of epilepsy in Spain. That is a prevalence of 18 cases per 1,000 inhabitants.
There are more than 274,000 cases of people with the active disease right now (7 cases per 1,000 inhabitants).
This rate is far higher than had previously been thought. It had been reckoned that epilepsy affected no more than 400,000 patients all throughout the country.
This information discovered through the EPIBERIA study has revealed that many people still conceal the fact that they have epilepsy as it is considered taboo. Although attitudes towards the disease are changing, in many cases patients may face social discrimination.
So many associations, including Asociación de Epilepsia, aim to provide more information about the disease and support families and patients to reduce its impact.