‘Medieval’ stigma about epilepsy causes high levels of discrimination

AUSTRALIANS living with epilepsy face high levels of discrimination at school or work due to ”medieval” ideas held by members of the public, research suggests.

A survey of more than 340 people with epilepsy and their carers also found the patients experience significant injuries as a result of seizures.

Many required hospital treatment for fractures, broken teeth and dislocated shoulders, with one in five experiencing more than 20 seizures in a year, the research showed.

The study, conducted by the Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria and Epilepsy Australia, found that despite epilepsy being a common condition with 224,000 Australians diagnosed, half of those surveyed battled discrimination from the community and employers.

Epilepsy Foundation president Professor Mark Cook said one of the most alarming findings was the level of discrimination faced by people with epilepsy.

"People still believe it's a contagious