Federal report urges improved access and referrals for people with epilepsy

The United States should do a better job ensuring the 2.2 million Americans with epilepsy can access treatment and receive timely referrals to specialized care, the Institute of Medicine said in a new report Friday.

The report recommends early identification and treatment of epilepsy and associated health conditions, as well as establishing accreditation criteria and processes for specialized epilepsy centers.

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The IOM also suggests raising public awareness about how to manage epilepsy, particularly among teachers and employers. Recommended strategies include "forming partnerships with the media, establishing advisory councils and engaging people with epilepsy and their families to serve as advocates and educators within their communities."