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 language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||The Nigerian postgraduate medical journal|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 1 2007|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes