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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 165-171

Assessment of precipitating factors of breakthrough seizures in epileptic patients

1 Department of Neurology, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
2 Clinical Neurophysiology Unit, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Lamia Afifi
Clinical Neurophysiology Unit, Cairo University, Kasr Al Ainy St., Cairo 11562
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1110-1083.162002

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Background The prevalence of breakthrough seizures is estimated to occur in 39-75.3% of epileptic patients in developing countries. Patients and physicians should be aware of the possible precipitating factors of breakthrough seizures to prevent their occurrence. Objective The aim of this study was to determine the precipitating factors for breakthrough seizures in patients attending Cairo University Hospital. Methods This cross-sectional study included 90 epileptic patients with idiopathic epilepsy receiving antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). They were divided into two groups. Group I included 55 epileptic patients with a history of recent breakthrough seizures. Group II included 35 epileptic patients who had not experienced any recent breakthrough seizures. Patients with breakthrough seizures were subjected to a thorough questionnaire addressing precipitating factors. All participants were subjected to an electroencephalogram (EEG) and the Morisky Medication Adherence Scale. Results Missed doses (56.4%) represented the most frequent reported precipitating factor, followed by sleep deprivation (36.4%) and psychological stress (34.5%). The patients in group I were found to have lower durations of seizure control, adherence to AEDs, and were more frequently on AED polytherapy than the participants in group II. In terms of the EEG, group I showed a higher percentage of abnormal EEGs and more frequent focal epileptiform discharges. No significant difference was found in age or sex, age at onset of epilepsy, duration of disease, and type of seizures between both groups. Conclusion Patients and their caregivers should be educated about these possible precipitating factors to achieve better control of epilepsy.

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