Author(s): Ogunrin OA, Adeyekun AA
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Post traumatic epilepsy is recurrent chronic seizures occurring after four weeks following brain injury. It commonly occurs after road traffic accidents thus making it a preventable cause of chronic seizures. The prevalence and pattern of this disorder is not known among Nigerian patients with epilepsy. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed at determining the prevalence of and predisposing type of head injury to developing post traumatic epilepsy. METHODS: We studied 244 consecutive patients with epilepsy attending the neurology clinic of a tertiary health facility in an urban Nigerian city by analyzing the details of their demographic and clinical data obtained with the aid of a structured questionnaire and from the Epilepsy Registry of a Neurology Unit between January and December 2006. RESULTS: Thirty-eight patients with a mean age of 38.6 +/- 7.3 years (age range 15- 75 years) had posttraumatic epilepsy comprising 15.57\% of all cases of epilepsy. Thirty-three (86.8\%) had closed head injury. Thirty-two (84.2\%) of the patients had positive history of loss of consciousness. Twenty two patients (57.9\%) sustained head injury from motor vehicle accidents. Majority of the patients had secondarily generalized seizures (73.7\% of the cases). Twenty-seven (71.4\%) of the 38 patients had seizure onset in the first year after brain injury. Depressed skull fracture (19/38; 50\%) was the most common abnormal CT finding. CONCLUSION: Post traumatic epilepsy contributes significantly to the number of patients with epilepsy presenting to our neurology services. There is need to educate people on the usefulness of seat-belts and helmets while driving.
This article was published in West Afr J Med
and referenced in Epilepsy Journal