Sadly, medical care and its quality can still rely on how much a person has. Finding a good specialist who will deal with the Medicaid hassle is a rarity. And sadly, so many still have trouble when their job isn't simple. Are poor people inclined to be sicker? And if so, is the correlation or causation? Poverty is not a causation here, as epilepsy, like any illness, can strike at any economic level. Ah. Contributing factor. Which leads to:
1)Burned out doctors not inclined to dig below the surface, and are inclined to be judgmental, walking into gray areas of patient treatment... what is bad bedside manner and what is abuse?
2)Along with side effects that can increase or decrease an appetite, there's mood changes, nervousness, and innumerable other side effects. Prescription sheets could be made into a movie by Rob Zombie. Then there's the tendency to sap nutrients from the body, and some patients might need to go on supplements that they can barely afford. Not to be disgusting, but if the situation isn't rectified, sometimes their pee can be worth more than gold!
I've been following trials for varying "gentler" drugs. They tend never to go past the formative stages.
The classics never die, do they? Well... Depekote has shown in some tests to decrease brain size. That I caught the Email and knew, without the use of a brand name, exactly which drug was being discussed, scared me.
What's being done? Every "Living With" book I've seen indulges in prehistory, up to and including nasty treatments, and offers a small chapter on " But it's getting better, honest!"
Ok. So something needs to be done and the usual treatments are detrimental. This, besides the poverty issue, is pretty universally accepted. But I haven't seen anything saying, "We have started doing ABC...". As for the poverty issue, this too needs rectifying. Part of it begins with social services, the insurance companies. Part of it is the doctor's responsibility. The patient needs to ask questions, to say no when something is wrong and demand proper care. They should not need to draw diagrams. They should not feel shame.
Sources: Epilepsy, medical care, and poverty, 2011-Health Care Disparities in Epilepsy, 2011
CIDPUSA Epilepsy and Nutrition
Studies on Depekote and Brain Shrinkage-Epilepsy.com: Valproic Acid Reduces Brain Volume?