Background: Epilepsy is a serious neurological disorder and neurocysticercosis (NCC), the central nervous system infection by the larvae of Taenia solium, is the main cause of acquired epilepsy in developing countries. NCC is becoming more frequent in industrialized countries due to immigration from endemic areas. Previously reported epilepsy incidences range from 30 to 50/100,000 people in industrialized countries and 90 to 122/100,000 people in developing countries. Objectives: To determine the incidence of epilepsy in a cysticercosis endemic area of Peru.Methods: A screening survey for possible seizure cases was repeated biannually in this cohort for a period of 5 years (1999-2004) using a previously validated questionnaire. All positive respondents throughout the study were examined by a trained neurologist in the field to confirm the seizure. If confirmed, they were offered treatment, serological testing, neuroimaging (CT scans and MRI) and clinical follow-up. Results: The cohort study comprised 817 individuals. The overall epilepsy incidence rate was 162.3/100,000 person-years, and for epileptic seizures, 216.6/100,000 person-years. Out of the 8 individuals who had epileptic seizures, 4 had markers for NCC (neuroimaging and/or serology). Conclusion: The incidence of epilepsy in this area endemic for cysticercosis is one of the highest reported worldwide.
- Incidence study
- Parasitic infection