April 14, 2020

Study Compares Drug Treatment for Epilepsies Caused by Two Infectious Agents

Seizures are often caused by infectious agents that have invaded the brain and formed cysts, visible as circular lesions on medical imaging scans. These lesions cause victims to develop epilepsy. Two common infectious agents are a tapeworm, which causes neurocysticercosis, and a bacterium, which causes tuberculosis. Although antiepileptic drugs are used to treat both types of epilepsy, the duration of this treatment is still debated.

To resolve the debate, the incidence of seizure recurrence in patients with neurocysticerosis versus tuberculosis were compared. Results revealed that those with neurocystericosis are much more prone to seizures than are those with tuberculosis. Indeed, antiepileptic drugs can be tapered off in those with tuberculosis after 18 months with a low risk of recurrence.

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