Social exclusion and stigma largely contribute to the global burden of Epilepsy. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic made the management of the disease more difficult. However, very few European countries have national plans for managing the disorder.
“Headway. A new roadmap in Brain Health, Focus Epilepsy”, realized by the think tank The European House Ambrosetti in collaboration with Angelini Pharma, was conceived to create a multidisciplinary platform for strategic consideration, analysis, dialogue, and comparison between various European experiences in epilepsy management.
Today in the afternoon, Angelini Pharma and The European House Ambrosetti are going to host a Digital Event presenting the results of the analysis conducted in 2022. In different sessions, there will be exchanges of views on the adoption of the Intersectoral Global Action Plan on Epilepsy and other Neurological disorders by the WHO, the importance of European collaboration in Epilepsy care and research, and the challenges encountered by individuals with epilepsy in workplaces, schools, and society in general and possible areas of improvement.
Among the confirmed speakers:
- Helen Cross, President, International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE)
- Reetta Kälviäinen, Full Professor and Chair of Neurology, University of Eastern Finland; Director of the Kuopio Epilepsy Center, Kuopio University Hospital
- Kristina Malmgren, Professor in Neurology and Director, Sahlgrenska University Hospital Epilepsy Center
- Thomas Porschen, Vice Chair, European Executive Committee, IBE; Landesverband für Epilepsie Selbsthilfe Nordrhein Westfalen E.V.
- Francesca Sofia, President, International Bureau of Epilepsy (IBE)
- Torie Robinson, CEO and Editor, Epilepsy Sparks
- Philippe Ryvlin, Full Professor of Neurology, UNIL; Head of the Department of Clinical Neurosciences, CHUV, Lausanne
Closing remarks: Rafal Kaminski, Chief Scientific Officer, Angelini Pharma
Among neurological disorders, Epilepsy is the 4th most common in Europe, causing 1.3 million DALYs (Disability Adjusted Life Years), and 941,000 YLDs (Years of Life Lost -YLLs). The incidence of the disease is often underestimated given the complexity of symptom manifestation and underlying causes. Nonetheless, estimates report nearly 400,000 new cases in Europe each year, for a total of 6 million individuals living with Epilepsy (6-8% of the population). The risk of premature death in people with Epilepsy is up to 3 times higher than for the general population, while life expectancy is reduced by 2-10 years.
The Headway Report outlines the current scenario in Europe and elaborate reflections on the impacts of Epilepsy with a particular focus on health and quality of life. The overall objectives of the initiative are to increase knowledge and awareness of the critical issues/specificities related to Epilepsy among policy makers, media, and the general public, to compare policies and action plans developed and implemented across Europe and eventually formulate policy recommendations to promote good health for people with epilepsy.