Plasma magnesium and calcium levels in children with epilepsy in lagos

O. O. Oladipo, F. E.A. Lesi, V. C. Ezeaka

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Magnesium and calcium have been found to have increasing roles in the patho-physiology of epilepsy. Hypomagnesaemia and hypocalcaemia cause hyper-exitability of neurons and have been associated strongly with seizures in adults and children.

OBJECTIVES: To determine if hypomagnesaemia or hypocalcaemia is present in Nigerian children with epilepsy and to determine the relationship between serum magnesium and calcium levels and frequency and control of epilepsy.

DESIGN: A prospective case control study at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: 45 children with epilepsy and 45 controls were recruited from the paediatric neurology unit of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. Serum magnesium and calcium were measured by spectrophotometric methods.

RESULTS: Serum magnesium and calcium was significantly lower in the patients compared to the controls; Magnesium - 0.98 (0.0005) Vs 1.2 (0.04) mmol/L, p< 0.0001 and Calcium - 2.29 (0.04) Vs 2.3 (0.02) mmol/L, p<0.05 respectively. No significant differences were noted in the plasma phosphorus and albumin concentrations.

CONCLUSION: Magnesium and calcium levels are lower in the epileptic children compared to the controls during the seizure-free periods. More studies are needed to evaluate these electrolytes during seizures and the effect of the different anticonvulsant drugs on these electrolytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-29
Number of pages4
JournalThe Nigerian postgraduate medical journal
Volume14
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2007

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

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