Europe

People with epilepsy face work bias Irish survey suggests

Epilepsy can develop after an infection or damage to the brain
Image caption Epilepsy can develop after an infection or damage to the brain

Nearly one in five people in Ireland would not employ someone with epilepsy, a new survey suggests.

More than 37,000 people in Ireland, aged over five years, have a diagnosis of the disease.

However, nearly 20% of people surveyed in the Republic of Ireland said, if given the choice, they would not employ someone with the condition.

Research carried out by Epilepsy Ireland suggests that there is still stigma and lack of understanding.

More than 1,000 people took part in the survey published on Monday 11 February, European Epilepsy Day.

Peter Murphy of Epilepsy Ireland said: "Public awareness and understanding of the condition remains poor and negative attitudes towards epilepsy are a major challenge for many people living with the condition.

"In fact, myths, misconceptions, fear and discrimination still surround epilepsy, often causing more distress than the condition itself and having a huge impact on people's quality of life."

One in 20 people will have a single epileptic seizure at some time in their lives.

The findings contrast with the fact that epilepsy is the most common, serious neurological condition in Ireland.

Despite major advances in treatment, the survey shows that public awareness is poor and negative attitudes towards those with the condition, are a major challenge for people affected.

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