Prognosis of epilepsy in a community-based study: 8 years of follow-up in an Argentine community.
ABSTRACT To assess the prognosis of epilepsy, the possibility of achieving remission of seizures, in patients who were identified in a population-based study carried out in Junín, a city of about 70,000 inhabitants in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. On January 1, 1991 (prevalence day), 106 people had epilepsy, including 64 (60%) with the condition active.
Eight years later, we revisited the patients identified in the prevalence study. We analyzed risk factors in relation to remission of seizures. We also confirmed the specific cause of death.
Ninety-six patients were revisited (10 were completely lost to follow-up). We divided them into two groups: the group in terminal remission (defined as a seizure-free period that extended from prevalence day until the visit day in 1998) which included 64 people (66.7%), and the group of those who continued to have seizures which included 32 (33.3%) patients, of whom eight (25%) died. The overall standardized mortality ratio was 2.45; the rate was two and a half times that of the general national population.
The better prognosis was observed in the group with generalized idiopathic epilepsy syndrome. Patients with epilepsy secondary to underlying structural causes had the worst prognosis, with higher mortality.
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ABSTRACT: To carry out a door-to-door survey in rural areas of the Cordillera Province, Santa Cruz Department, Bolivia, to determine the prevalence of neurologic diseases (epilepsy, stroke, parkinsonism, and peripheral neuropathy) in a sample of approximately 10,000 inhabitants. A team of nondoctor health workers administered a standard screening instrument for neurologic diseases-a slightly modified version of the World Health Organization protocol. All subjects found positive during the screening underwent a neurologic examination. On screening, the authors found 1,130 positive subjects, of whom 1,027 were then investigated by neurologists. On the basis of the definition proposed by the International League Against Epilepsy, we detected 124 epileptic patients (prevalence, 12.3/1,000), 112 of whom had active epilepsy (prevalence, 11.1/1,000) on the prevalence day (November 1, 1994). Peak age-specific prevalence occurred in the 15 to 24-year age group (20.4/1,000). Sex-specific prevalence was higher in women (13.1/1,000) than men (11.4/1,000). Eighty-nine patients (71.8%) underwent a standard EEG recording. Considering both EEG and clinical data, partial seizures were the most common type (53.2%) based on the classification of the International League Against Epilepsy. The mean age at onset was 20.7 years for partial seizures and 13.6 years for generalized seizures. Only 10.5% of patients had received specific treatment for more than 2 months of their life. This report on epilepsy prevalence in Bolivia confirms that epilepsy is a major health problem in rural areas of developing countries.Neurology 01/2000; 53(9):2064-9. · 8.25 Impact Factor
- The Lancet 08/1990; 336(8707):93-6. · 39.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A house-to-house survey of epileptic seizures covering a population of 72,121 persons was carried out in a rural area of northern Ecuador. A cascade system of diagnosis was used to identify all cases of epileptic seizures in this population. 1029 cases were found, of whom 881 were considered to be definite cases and 148 were possible cases. Of the 1029 cases, 56% had active epilepsy. The lifetime prevalence rate was found to lie between 12.2 and 19.5/1000 and the prevalence of active cases between 6.7 and 8.0/1000. An annual incidence rate of between 122/100,000 and 190/100,000 was estimated. Seizure type was classified without EEG data and almost half of the cases had partial seizures. In 27% of cases an aetiology was proposed on clinical grounds. This is one of few reported studies of a population that has been largely unexposed to antiepileptic drugs, providing an opportunity to study the natural history of the untreated condition. It has been suggested that treatment in newly developing epilepsy will prevent its development to a chronic condition. Only 37% of the 1029 cases had ever received antiepileptic drugs, and only 12% of the cases were taking them at the time of the survey. Despite this, a high rate of inactivity was observed, with 44% of all cases free of seizures. Nearly two thirds of the inactive cases identified had never received treatment with antiepileptic drugs. In a subgroup of untreated cases with an active condition, treatment with antiepileptic drugs was initiated and was highly effective even in cases with a long previous history. Thus the findings from this study suggest that the development of epilepsy resistant to therapy is not always associated with a long duration of untreated epilepsy.Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 04/1994; 57(3):320-5. · 4.92 Impact Factor