If epileptic don’t drive without doctor’s consent, says expert


“It may be hard to say but anybody who has seizures should not drive, they are a disaster waiting”.

A Consultant Neurosurgeon at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Omotayo Ojo, Idi-Araba, on Monday advised people with epilepsy not to drive without their doctor’s consent.

Ms. Ojo said in Lagos that epilepsy is a neurological disorder which is usually characterised by seizures that cause patients to lose control of their bodies.

He said that it was a serious condition that required immediate medical attention.

“Epilepsy is a disorder characterised by seizures but not due to immediate external cause.

“If there is any way you can help the society, it is that anybody who has seizures should not drive until the doctor says so.

“It may be hard to say but anybody who has seizures should not drive, they are a disaster waiting,” he said.

Ms. Ojo said that the causes of epilepsy were unknown although brain injury, strokes, brain cancer, drug and alcohol abuse were risk factors of the condition.

He said that excessive and abnormal nerve activities in the brain could also result to seizures.

The neurosurgeon said that although epilepsy could not be cured, up to 70 per cent cases of seizures could be controlled with appropriate medication.

“The treatment of epilepsy would depend on the epileptic classification the patient has.

“Surgical treatment of epilepsy would depend on what it is. There are some types of seizures that you actually have to divide the brain into two.

“This is because one side is generating the impulse and sending it to the other one so, you break the connection.

“In some cases you may have to take out part of the brain; in many instances it may not stop the seizures completely.

“But if somebody is having 12 seizures everyday and after the surgery he’s having two in a month it’s a very, very significant improvement in the quality of life,’’ Ms. Ojo said.

He said that as in other surgeries, there were risks associated with seizure surgery adding that its benefits often outweighed the risks.


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