A new study, by researchers from the State University of Campinas in Brazil, suggests that the effect of epilepsy on the brothers and sisters of children with the condition may be more severe than previously thought
The study found that only four per cent of the children were ashamed about their brother or sister's diagnosis of epilepsy. However, half of the children had not told their friends that their brother or sister had epilepsy.
The authors claim the teenagers see epilepsy as more physically damaging than asthma, diabetes, arthritis, migraine, leukemia and HIV. The study suggested that only Down's syndrome was considered 'more debilitating than epilepsy.'
They believed that epilepsy caused mental disability, injured the affected person and bystanders and could lead to death more often. They also found that epilepsy had a negative social impact, particularly on behaviour, honesty, popularity, sporting ability and fun.
The research is published in the December 2006 issue of Seizure, the European Journal for Epilepsy