Strictly embargoed until 0100 hours Saturday 15 May 2004
EPILEPSY ACTION LAUNCHES NATIONWIDE ‘TAKE CONTROL’ CAMPAIGN
National Epilepsy Week 16 – 23 May 2004
Saturday 15 May 2004: The UK’s largest member-led epilepsy charity, Epilepsy Action, is urging people with epilepsy whose seizures are not well controlled or who are experiencing unacceptable side effects to seek a review of their treatment. The Take Control campaign, being launched during National Epilepsy Week (16th - 23rd May) aims to provide information and support to help people with epilepsy work with their doctor towards a better quality of life.
The charity estimates that up to 70% of people with epilepsy could become seizure free with the appropriate treatment, but only around half currently achieve this.
Philip Lee, Epilepsy Action’s Chief Executive explains the aim of launching the Take Control campaign:
“We are concerned that some people with epilepsy are not achieving the best possible seizure control. While we accept that not everyone with epilepsy could become seizure free, it may be possible for them to have fewer seizures. We also want to encourage people who are experiencing adverse side effects from their medication to discuss this with their doctor, to see if any improvements can be made.”
Epilepsy is the most common serious neurological condition after migraine, affecting one in 133 people in the UK. Sadly, widespread public ignorance and common misconceptions about epilepsy can mean that some people find it hard to be open about having the condition, making it difficult for them to access important information about changes in epilepsy management.
By contacting Epilepsy Action on freephone 0808 800 5050 and asking for a Take Control pack, you can receive a free Action Card and information booklet. Included is an easy-to-use ‘seizure diary’ which, once completed, can provide valuable information for establishing the best epilepsy treatment. The pack also gives practical points for discussion with your doctor or specialist.
Anna Morelle-Grey was diagnosed with epilepsy 16 years ago. She comments:
"Being diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 14 was difficult. There wasn't much information around and I just wanted to take my medication and forget about it. It wasn't until I was older at university that I was urged to play more active role in the management of my condition. Finally, after 7 years of putting up with my epilepsy, I was re-diagnosed with the specific type I had, given new medications to try, and am now living a more full and active life”.
“A lot of people hear the diagnosis and have no idea what to think or do. People should be encouraged to seek help in dealing with their epilepsy, especially when the vast majority of people can be adequately controlled."
Anyone who is interested can contact Epilepsy Action who will send a Take Control pack free of charge:
CALL on freephone 0808 800 5050
LOOK at www.epilepsy.org.uk
WRITE to freepost address: Take Control Campaign, Epilepsy Action, Freepost LS0995, Leeds, LS19 7YY
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For further information please contact:
Tel: 020 7611 3629
Tel: 020 7611 3566
-Interview people with epilepsy, medical experts or spokespeople from Epilepsy Action
-Information and statistics
-Images of the pack, seizure diary and Epilepsy Action logo
Notes to Editor:
-Epilepsy Action is a working name of British Epilepsy Association
-The Take Control campaign is supported by an educational grant provided by UCB Pharma
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