Epilepsy is an important and common worldwide public health problem that affects people of all ages. A significant number of individuals with epilepsy will be intractable to medication. These individuals experience an elevated mortality rate and negative psychosocial consequences of recurrent seizures. Surgery of epilepsy is highly effective to stop seizures in well-selected individuals, and seizure freedom is the most desirable result of epilepsy treatment due to the positive improvements in psychosocial function and the elimination of excess mortality associated with intractable epilepsy. Globally, there is inadequate data to fully assess epilepsy-related quality of life and stigma, although the preponderance of information we have points to a significant negative impact on people with epilepsy (PWE) and families of PWE. This review of the psychosocial impact of epilepsy focuses on regions of Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa that have been analyzed with population study approaches to determine the prevalence of epilepsy, treatment gaps, as well as factors impacting psychosocial function of PWE and their families. This review additionally identifies models of care for medically intractable epilepsy that have potential to significantly improve psychosocial function.
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