Authors: Si Y, Liu L, Hu J, Mu J, Fang JJ, An DM, Zhao LL, Tian LY, Zhou D.
PURPOSE: We evaluated data from a large cohort of newly diagnosed epilepsy patients from the biggest epilepsy center in West China. The aim was to determine the most prevalent etiologic factors in this region.
METHODS: From May 2008 to May 2010, the clinical data of patients with newly diagnosed epilepsy were consecutively, systematically and prospectively recorded in a database. The data were analyzed according to sex, age, seizure type, etiology, and other factors.
RESULTS: The present study examined 892 patients with newly diagnosed epilepsy. Among these patients, 346 (38.8%) were confirmed as symptomatic, with the largest constituent ratio among the elderly (63.2%). In this symptomatic group, central nervous system (CNS) infections and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) were the two most common etiologies. When analyzed according to age bracket, cortical dysplasia, mesial temporal sclerosis, and CNS infection were the most frequent causes among young patients (<18 years). On the other hand, CNS infection and TBI were the two most common causes in patients between 18 and 60 years. Stroke was the most common cause of newly diagnosed symptomatic epilepsy in the elderly (>60 years).
CONCLUSIONS: More than 30% of newly diagnosed epilepsy cases were shown to be symptomatic by medical history as well as careful clinical and laboratory examination. Detailed epilepsy assessments are essential to formulate a therapeutic plan and to improve prognosis. The etiology spectrum found in this large cohort forms a comparative baseline for future studies.