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Epileptic Disorders

The Educational Journal of the International League Against Epilepsy

Patients with generalised epilepsy have a higher white blood cell count than patients with focal epilepsy Volume 14, issue 1, March 2012

Epilepsy Center/Neurological Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Department of Cerebrovascular Research Cell Biology, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, USA

Background. Immunological alterations have been noted following seizures in the acute period, however little is known about the effect of type and severity of epilepsy on leukocyte count in the absence of seizures. Methods. We performed a retrospective chart review of adult epilepsy patients presenting for evaluation over a four-month period. Demographics, epilepsy type and characteristics, number and type of antiepileptic drugs, as well as medical co-morbidities were noted. Results. A total of 241 patients fulfilled study criteria. Variables correlating with leukocyte count were identified using univariate analysis. Based on multivariate analysis, only the correlation with type of epilepsy and use of more than two antiepileptic drugs remained statistically significant. Patients with generalised epilepsy had a higher leukocyte count (7.21 k/μL) compared to those with focal epilepsy (6.53 k/μL); the main difference was due to the number of monocytes. Conclusion. These findings raise the possibility that there are different neuro-immune profiles between patients with generalised and focal epilepsy.