HumanInsight Alterations in Seizure Frequency in Patients with Epilepsy Following Coronavirus Disease 2019
J Epilepsy Res. 2023 Jun 30;13(1):7-12. doi: 10.14581/jer.23002. eCollection 2023 Jun 30.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: During the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic, a considerable number of studies have focused on the difficulties for accessing the medical services and telemedicine-related issues. However, it is not clear whether COVID-19 affects the clinical course of epilepsy. Therefore, in the current study we aimed to assess the effects of COVID-19 infection on seizure frequency in patients with epilepsy (PWE).
METHODS: We evaluated PWE who consecutively referred to the neurology clinics of 22 Bahman and Qaem hospitals, who had experienced a recent polymerase chain reaction-confirmed-COVID-19 infection. Data were collected through a pre-defined electronic questionnaire.
RESULTS: A total of 104 patients were included. Females represented 52% of the population. The mean age of the patients was 36.73±17.87. Thirty-six patients (34%) reported increased seizure frequency. The mean age of the patients who had exacerbated seizure frequency was significantly lower than the non-exacerbated group (27.50±9.8 vs. 40.14±18.39; p=0.005). The number of the male patients were significantly higher in the exacerbated group (52% vs. 25%; p=0.014). The majority of exacerbated group had a history of drug resistance (44.4% vs. 8.5%; p=0.022). The number of epileptic seizures before COVID-19 infection was higher in the exacerbated (p=0.04).
CONCLUSIONS: About 34% of PWE experienced exacerbated epileptic seizures after COVID-19 infection. Male patients, young patients, patients with the history of drug resistance, and the patients who had higher seizure frequency were at increased risk for seizure exacerbation. Our results highlight the importance of screening, early diagnosis, and treatment in PWE.
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