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- The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
- Source: The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Volume 85, Issue 2, Aug 2011, p. 225 - 228
f Association Between Onchocerciasis and Epilepsy in the Itwara Hyperendemic Focus, West Uganda: Controlling for Time and Intensity of Exposure
In 38 pairs of epilepsy patients and controls matched for time and intensity of exposure to transmission of onchocerciasis, the presence of microfilariae in the skin of epilepsy patients was found insignificantly elevated compared with controls (odds ratio = 1.68; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.60–4.57; P = 0.31). This difference was more pronounced when detection of subcutaneous nodules was used as indication of infection with Onchocerca volvulus (odds ratio = 2.77; 95% CI = 0.92–8.33; P = 0.065). These findings from a patient group of limited size suggest that intensity of infection may play a substantial role in the development of onchocerciasis-associated epilepsy. Our results are in contrast to the results of two other independent studies from the identical endemic area; one case concluded a significant positive correlation between onchocerciasis and epilepsy, and the other case concluded a clearly negative correlation. Studies with a greater sample size are needed to confirm this possible relationship.