Sidra Medical and Research Center today announced its support of Purple Day which falls on the 26th of March. Purple Day is an international grassroots effort dedicated to increasing awareness about epilepsy worldwide1.
Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain that causes seizures. These seizures are the result of abnormal electrical activity in the brain2. Epilepsy can affect people of all ages, although it is more common among children and older adults According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the estimated proportion of the general population with active epilepsy (i.e. continuing seizures or the need for treatment) at a given time is between 4 to 10 per 1000 people3. Although some cases of epilepsy are caused by a lesion, such as tumor, infection, stroke or brain injury, a significant proportion of epilepsy cases are thought to have a genetic cause.
“Sidra is keen to support global healthcare and educational initiatives, including those related to disorders like epilepsy, to help raise awareness and educate the public. Epilepsy is a complex condition and misdiagnosis is common – occurring in as many as a quarter of patients worldwide. Accurate and timely diagnosis is absolutely essential for all patients with epilepsy and key to ensuring that they receive effective treatment to control their seizures,” said Dr. Khaled Zamel, Interim Chief of Pediatric Neurology at Sidra.
Epilepsy monitoring will also be a focus at Sidra, where a cutting-edge Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) dedicated to pediatric patients will form part of the groundbreaking hospital and research center. The six-bed EMU facility will enable the Sidra team to accurately diagnose epilepsy and monitor patients’ conditions to ensure that they receive the best possible treatment and care.
“The EMU at Sidra will be staffed by highly skilled members of the Sidra team. Patients will be carefully assessed to identify the type of epilepsy they are living with and the medicines and therapies that are right for each individual. We will also screen patients to determine whether they could benefit from epilepsy surgery, which can cure the condition in some people,” continued Dr. Zamel.
The Sidra EMU will have its own Neurodiagnostic Laboratory, staffed 24/7 by world-class technologists, neuroscientists and neuroengineers especially trained to record the brain’s minute electrical signals and long-term monitoring of the disease. The most advanced technologies will then be applied to analyze these brain signals to reveal any neuronal dysfunction and ensure accurate epilepsy diagnoses. In some cases, the patient’s MRI will be used to create a 3D model of the patient’s brain and highly developed algorithms will be applied to pinpoint the abnormal electrical activity to a specific brain region. The Neurodiagnostic Laboratory will also have a Neuronavigated Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation device, which painlessly stimulates the brain for certain treatments and brain mapping.
1 Purple Day. Available from: www.purpleday.org – Last accessed: March 2015
2 American Epilepsy Society. Frequently Asked Questions. Available from: https://www.aesnet.org/clinical_resources/faqs Last accessed: February 2015
3 World Health Organization. Epilepsy Fact Sheet (Fact Sheet 999) Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs999/en/ Last accessed: February 2015