Among the most notable topics discussed at the 5th National Epilepsy Congress was the taboo among the Colombian public regarding the source of epilepsy. The common misconception is that epilepsy is the result of deviant behavior or supernatural causes.
Dr. Luisa Marquez, Pediatric Neurologist, spoke at the congress and stated that these misconceptions and the stigma related to epilepsy have hindered the treatment and quality of life for those who suffer from the disorder. She stressed that, for too long, symptoms of epilepsy have been misunderstood and assigned to superstitious origins and that these misconceptions have had unfavorable consequences that affect the family, academic, and professional lives of those who suffer from the disorder.
The ultimate goal of the neuroscience’s professionals at this conference was to de-stigmatize the disorder and educate the Colombian public to better recognize the symptoms so they can react appropriately in order to prevent critical epileptic episodes.
It was also noted that due to the 2010 law, No. 1414, Colombia (along with Argentina) has become a pioneer in legislative protection for people suffering from Epilepsy.