Epileptic Disorders


Common infectious and parasitic diseases as a cause of seizures: geographic distribution and contribution to the burden of epilepsy Volume 24, issue 6, December 2022


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1 Unidade de Pesquisa e Tratamento das Epilepsias, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP), São Paulo, SP, Brazil
2 Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, PO Box 7072, Kampala, Uganda
3 Department of Neurology, Dayanand Medical College, Ludhiana, India; NIHR University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, London WC1N 3BG, UK
4 Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad de Cuenca, Cuenca, Ecuador; G.H. Sergievsky Center, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
5 Department of Neurosciences and Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil
Elza Márcia T. Yacubian
Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Universidade Federal de São Paulo; Brazil

This educational review article aims to provide information on the central nervous system (CNS) infectious and parasitic diseases that frequently cause seizures and acquired epilepsy in the developing world. We explain the difficulties in defining acute symptomatic seizures, which are common in patients with meningitis, viral encephalitis, malaria, and neurocysticercosis, most of which are associated with increased mortality and morbidity, including subsequent epilepsy. Geographic location determines the common causes of infectious and parasitic diseases in a particular region. Management issues encompass prompt treatment of acute symptomatic seizures and the underlying CNS infection, correction of associated predisposing factors, and decisions regarding the appropriate choice and duration of antiseizure therapy. Although healthcare provider education, to recognize and diagnose seizures and epilepsy related to these diseases, is a feasible objective to save lives, prevention of CNS infections and infestations is the only definitive way forward to reduce the burden of epilepsy in developing countries.

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