In a new post for the Rural Health Information Hub’s The Rural Monitor, neurologists weighed in on the impact of epilepsy in rural America, and how it needs to be on the dame level as other important rural health issues. The main issue with epilepsy is that its connected to other health conditions, and is not discussed as an independent issue. The experts hope that epilepsy gets its own health focus in the near future.

From the post: “Another epileptologist summarized why epilepsy awareness is an important public health focus.

“It’s really as concerning as this: If you have a brain, you can get epilepsy,” Dr. Gena Ghearing, a University of Iowa (UI) epileptologist, said. Adding further to Sirven’s emphasis on the high-stakes consequences of epilepsy, Ghearing pointed out, in particular, just how impactful the loss of driving privileges are for rural people with epilepsy (RPWE).

“For example, an urban epilepsy patient often has access to a subway system or city bus transit, but our patients living on a farm or in a small rural town usually don’t have access to public transportation,” she said, adding that family and friends might not even be able to provide transportation. “Not being able to drive just further compounds the many additional challenges of daily living for our rural patients.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have published research showing rural epilepsy patients have higher frequencies of comorbidities or neurodevelopmental issues. Educating rural health care workers on the signs and management of epilepsy in patients is just one step towards shining a brighter light on rural people with epilepsy, and gives patients the tools to live a healthier life.

To read the rest of the post, click here.