Japanese Declaration on Epilepsy
September 30, 2013
The Japan Epilepsy Society
Japan Epilepsy Association
Epilepsy is a well known disease from ancient times. Yet, even today, people with epilepsy still have many problems in their lives. Over the years, Japan Epilepsy Association and Japan Epilepsy Society have been working together to help people with epilepsy overcome these problems. Joint meetings have been held since 2010 to encourage close liaison. At the 8th joint meeting held on September 1, 2013, the following Declaration on Epilepsy was adopted.
We declare October of each year to be a special month to focus on epilepsy in Japan.
We proclaim the following:
To solve global issues of epilepsy, all people related to health care, organizations and policy making should
• Place epilepsy as a top priority in medical policy.
• Establish a medical system for epilepsy and ensure that people with epilepsy have access to modern and appropriate medical and health care.
• Promote social integration and eliminate discrimination against epilepsy in all spheres of life, especially concerning work, school and mobility.
• Encourage educational activities for the public to understand epilepsy and thereby reduce stigma and prejudice.
• Provide professionals and volunteers in the fields of health care, education, and employment with appropriate training on epilepsy.
• Introduce appropriate legislation to protect the rights of all people with epilepsy.
• Support and promote basic, clinical, psychological and social research on epilepsy in all areas including medicine, education, health and welfare, and employment.
Additional statements for proper understanding of epilepsy:
• Epilepsy is one of the most common brain disorders, estimated to affect one million people in Japan, with 50 thousand being diagnosed annually.
• Epilepsy occurs in all ages irrespective of gender, and is especially common among infants and the elderly.
• Epilepsy is a chronic disease that requires long-term treatment and care.
• The outlook of epilepsy varies, some persons become seizure-free while others may become resistant to treatment, with or without accompanying diseases.
• Although 70 to 80% of people with epilepsy may become seizure-free with appropriate treatment, many people do not receive such treatment due to inadequate health care system.
• Epilepsy can have serious physical, psychological, social and economic consequences for the afflicted and their families, but adequate measures against such consequences are largely lacking:
- Physical consequences include risk of injury, fracture, and death.
- Psychological consequences result from fear of seizure, lack of understanding and stigma of epilepsy.
- Social consequences include discrimination and restrictions in mobility, education, employment, and legal system.
- Economic consequences include financial burden on those afflicted, burden on medical economy, and economic loss due to difficulties with employment.
• Optimal medical system, health care education and public educational activities may reduce the cost of epilepsy treatment.
• Research funding for prevention, diagnosis, treatment and psychosocial care of epilepsy is insufficient.
White paper on epilepsy2016