Age-related gender differences in reporting ictal fear: analysis of case histories and review of the literature.
ABSTRACT To determine if there are age or gender-related differences in reporting fear as a symptom of epileptic seizure, all clinical charts of patients evaluated at the "C. Munari - Epilepsy Surgery Center" of Milan from 1990 to June 2005 were analyzed, looking for patients with ictal fear. Among the 2,530 clinical charts examined (1,330 male and 1,200 female), 265 patients were found with ictal fear (100 men, 165 women). The gender difference in reporting ictal fear was not so marked in the pediatric age group (98 girls, 74 boys), whereas in adult patients the difference was significant (158 women, 83 men). Interestingly, more men than women (14:3) had ictal fear during childhood that disappeared during adulthood. The literature review confirmed that ictal fear is significantly more common in women, though there is no gender difference in the pediatric age group.