September 29, 2012 - 16:34 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Epilepsy is twice as common in low and middle-income countries as it is in the developed world, according to an international team of researchers.
They say the higher incidence is linked to increased risk factors, including head injuries and infections such as pork tapeworm and river blindness.
And more than 60% of sufferers in those countries receive no appropriate treatment, they say in the Lancet, according to BBC News.
A Lancet editorial said epilepsy had to be a global health priority.
Epilepsy is a condition in which disturbances to the brain's normal electrical activity cause recurring seizures or brief episodes of altered consciousness.
There are about 40 different types. Epilepsy is not a mental illness, but can develop after injury or damage to the brain. About 85% of the global burden of epilepsy occurs in low and middle-income countries.
Researchers led by Prof Charles Newton, of the University of Oxford, say the death rate in developing countries is much higher than in developed ones - and that the reason for this is likely to be a failure to treat people with the condition.