Author(s): Jalava M, Sillanp M
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Abstract PURPOSE: To show any possible associations between childhood-onset epilepsy and physical activity, health-related fitness, and health experience. METHODS: A population-based cohort of 176 patients with epilepsy since childhood was monitored for a mean of 35 years. Patients with recurrent, unprovoked epileptic seizures with no associated initial neurologic impairment or disability, termed those with "epilepsy only" (n = 100), were compared with matched controls for self-reported physical activity, health experience, laboratory tests, body mass index, and muscle power tests. RESULTS: On the basis of muscle tests, physical fitness proved to be significantly poorer in patients with "epilepsy only" than in matched controls. During the preceding year, 22\% of patients and 24\% of controls had reduced their physical activities because of some illness; only 2\% reduced their physical activities because of epilepsy. No significant difference was found in blood status, except for a lower serum creatinine level in the patients. Current antiepileptic drug (AED) therapy appeared significantly associated with lower hemoglobin and creatinine levels and higher high-density lipoprotein values. The patients perceived their health status to be comparable with that of controls, irrespective of physical inactivity, continued seizures, or AED monotherapy. However, patients receiving AED polytherapy perceived their health as rather poor or very poor significantly more often than did controls. CONCLUSIONS: Based on objective muscle tests, adults with childhood-onset "epilepsy only" have poorer physical fitness than do matched controls, but they have a feeling of good personal health.
This article was published in Epilepsia
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy