Profile of Post-traumatic Epilepsy in Benin City, Nigeria
AbstractBACKGROUND: 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. Twentytwo 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.