Prevalence, causes, and behavioral and emotional comorbidities of acute symptomatic seizures in Africa: A critical review

Kariuki SM, Abubakar A, Stein A, Marsh K, Newton CRJC
Epilepsia Open. 2017;2

Permenent descriptor

Seizures with fever includes both febrile seizures (due to nonneurological febrile infections) and acute symptomatic seizures (due to neurological febrile infections). The cumulative incidence (lifetime prevalence) of febrile seizures in children aged 60% vs. approximately 30%), which is often attributed to falciparum malaria. These complex phenotypes of acute symptomatic seizures can be associated with behavioral and emotional problems in high-income countries, and outcomes may be even worse in Africa. One Kenyan study reported behavioral and emotional problems in approximately 10% of children admitted with acute symptomatic seizures, but it is not clear whether the behavioral and emotional problems were due to the seizures, shared genetic susceptibility, etiology, or underlying neurological damage. The underlying neurological damage in acute symptomatic seizures can lead not only to behavioral and emotional problems but also to neurocognitive impairment and epilepsy. Electroencephalography may have a prognostic role in African children with acute symptomatic seizures. There are significant knowledge gaps regarding acute symptomatic seizures in Africa, which results in lack of reliable estimates for planning interventions. Future epidemiological studies of acute symptomatic seizures should be set up in Africa.