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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 24-29

Precipitants of seizure among patients with epilepsy: Experience at Kano, Northwestern Nigeria

Neurology Unit, Department of Medicine, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
L F Owolabi
Neurology Unit, Department of Medicine, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Bayero University, Kano
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Background: Knowledge of seizure precipitants has practical implications on the management and counseling of patients. This study was designed to determine the common endogenous and exogenous precipitants of epileptic seizures among epileptics in Kano. Methods: Adult epileptic patients of 2 tertiary-care centres whose seizures were classified in accordance with ILAE criteria, were consecutively surveyed with the use of a standardized questionnaire that lists precipitants which might trigger or aggravate seizures (emotional stress, hunger or fasting, missing of AEDs, fatigue, febrile illness, flashing lights, heat, cold, alcohol caffeine, menstrual cycle, sleep, sleep deprivation and others). Categorical variables were compared using Chi square and cross correlation was detrmined using Pearson's correlation. Results: Two hundred and ten patients comprising 124 (59 %) males and 86 (41%) females were studied. At least one specific seizure precipitant was noted by 184 (87.6) patients.. In descending order, stress (53.3%), febrile illness (35.7%), missing AEDs (22.4%), 13.9%) hunger or fasting, heat, fatigue were cited as seizure precipitants. Nineteen (22%) out of the eighty six women in the study cited menstruation as seizure precipitant. Caffeine (3.8%), alcohol (2.4%) and sleep (1%) were infrequently noted precipitants. Thirteen patients (6.1 %) noted other precipitants, including pain, bad odor, physical exertion and loud noise. Twenty six (12.4%) patients reported no precipitant. Hunger, stress fatigue, and sleep deprivation were oositively correlated. Conclusion: Common precipitating factors of seizure included stress, febrile illness and non adherence to antiepileptic drugs. Knowledge of these precipitating factors are vital prevention of seizure.

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