Neurological disorders in children and adolescents
To ascertain the prevalence of active epilepsy, febrile seizures (FS), cerebral palsy (CP) and tic disorders (TD) in aged 19 years or less.
This was a cross-sectional observational study conducted as a two-stage door-to-door survey of a stratified randomly selected population in 2003-04. Trained field workers screened the population followed by case examination by the field neurologist.
A total of 16979 (male 8898, female 8081) subjects aged ≤ 19 years were surveyed. The prevalence rates per 100,000 population of active epilepsy, FS, CP and TD with 95% confidence intervals are 700.87 (580.60–838.68), 1113.14 (960.07–1283.59), 282.70 (CI 208.43–374.82) and 35.34 (12.96–76.92) respectively. Active epilepsy prevalence shows a rising trend and that of other disorders a declining trend with age. Of the epileptics who had brain CT scans, 23.4% showed single or multiple lesions suggestive of neurocysticercosis. Regarding treatment, 23.5% of the epileptics never received any antiepileptic drugs. Among those with history of FS, 9.5% developed epilepsy later on. The prevalence of FS among slum dwellers is lower than in the non-slum population. Among CP cases, 39.6% gave history of birth anoxia, 16.7% kernicterus and 31.3% epilepsy. Prevalence of CP is significantly associated with lower education status.
The prevalence of CP and TD is lower than reported from western countries. CP prevalence is also comparatively lower than in many community studies from India. Compared to western nations, higher proportion of FS cases develops epilepsy. A third of the CP cases have seizures which is higher than in many Indian studies. Birth anoxia is a common cause of CP and educational underachievement is frequent.
Key wordsActive epilepsy Febrile seizure Cerebral palsy Tic disorder Prevalence
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