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Monthly Archives: November 2011
The condition of epilepsy has been documented since the earliest medical texts. Stigma against the condition likely reaches back even further in history. Over the centuries, epilepsy has been associated with religious experiences, demonic possession, witchcraft, and mental illness, among other things.
Even during times when epilepsy was considered a curse from the gods, however, there were individuals fighting against misconceptions about the disorder and the seizures that accompany it. Among these was the Greek physician Hippocrates, who argued against divine explanation in the book On the Sacred Disease, written around 400 B.C. Although there have been many advances in medical understanding of epilepsy, misconceptions about the condition continue to this day.
In a previous blog, titled “What is Dementia?”, the condition of dementia was explored in terms of symptoms, causes, and treatments. Broadly, dementia describes a cluster of symptoms that interfere with every day life. The symptoms can included memory loss, inability to learn new things, problems with organization, change in personality, agitation, delusions, and even hallucinations. With improvements in medicine leading to longer lifetimes, more people than ever have loved ones who live with dementia.