Objectives: To describe the demography of epilepsy in children at the University Hospital of the West Indies and to review the frequency of major seizure types and antiepileptic drug therapy used at diagnosis.
Methods: The records of all children ages two months to 12 years with two or more unprovoked seizures, on at least two separate days between January 2001 and December 2005 at the paediatric in-patient unit and paediatric neurology clinic were reviewed. Descriptive analyses (Chi-squared tests) were performed utilizing the Statistical Programme for Social Sciences (SPSS version 14). Statistical significance, p < 0.05.
Results: Sixty-three children were enrolled in the study; thirty-two (50.8%) were males. The median (minimum, maximum) age was 35 (2, 144) months at seizure onset. N (65%) had focal seizures of which dyscognitive seizures were the most frequent subtype. Generalized tonic clonic and myoclonic seizures were the most frequent of the generalized seizures. Nineteen (30%) children had more than one seizure type and 17 (27%) of the children were diagnosed with an epilepsy syndrome. West syndrome was the commonest of the epilepsy syndromes. Carbamazepine was the most frequently prescribed drug at initial diagnosis for focal seizures. Valproic acid was the drug of choice for generalized seizures.
Conclusion: There was no sex predilection in epilepsy in this population. Focal seizures were commonest and Carbamazepine was the choice drug for focal seizures and Valproic acid for generalized seizures.
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