Familial Epilepsy – A Population Based Study in Yanbu Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

  • Sajjad Naseer Department of Internal Medicine, Akhtar Saeed Medical and Dental College, Bahria Town, Lahore
  • Kamran Khalid Butt Department of Internal Medicine, Akhtar Saeed Medical and Dental College, Bahria Town, Lahore
  • Muhammad Azhar Shah Department of Internal Medicine, Akhtar Saeed Medical and Dental College, Bahria Town, Lahore
  • Mehak Sultan Butt Department of Internal Medicine, Akhtar Saeed Medical and Dental College, Bahria Town, Lahore
  • Muhammad Anwer Chaudhary Department of Neurosurgery, LGH, Lahore
Keywords: Epilepsy, epidemiology, familial epilepsy.


Introduction; Epilepsy is a common and important neurological condition. It effects children & adults and occurs in every major population of the world. Epilepsy is heterogeneous condition, manifesting on its own or as complication of other neurological or systemic diseases and its clinical form, severity and outcome vary widely. Treatment has improved considerably in recent years and the choice of the medical therapy has widened greatly. The following study shows high incidence of familial epilepsy in a Yanbu – one of the biggest industrial city of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Objectives: To study the incidence of familial epilepsy in patient population of Yanbu, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Material and Methods: This is a retrospective study of epilepsy patients, as well as follow up of new patients of epilepsy who presented in the department of neurology at Royal Commission hospital Yanbu Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Duration of study was two years; from January 2011 to December 2012. This study included 100 patients with diagnosed of epilepsy. Results: The age range was 10-60 years; there were 39 patients (78%) of age range 10 – 20, 30 patients (60%) of age range 21 – 30, 11 patients (22%) of age range 31 – 40, 11 patients (22%) of age range 41 – 50, and 9 pat-ients (18%) of age range 51 – 61. There were both diagnosed cases of epilepsy as well as those who presented for the first time in the neurology department. Conclusions: It was seen during study that 40 patients out of 100 patients had two or more family members having epilepsy. We have not seen such high incidence in any of the studies done in the past. What could be the probable cause of this high incidence, remains to be elucidated, one possible explanation might have been polygenic inheritance amongst such patients.


1. Magiorkinis E, Kalliopi S, Diamantis A. ―Hallmarks in the history of epilepsy: epilepsy in antiquity‖. Epilepsy and behavior: E&B, January 2010; 17 (1): 103–108.
2. Chang BS, Lowenstein DH. ―Epilepsy‖. N. Engl. J. Med. 2003; 349 (13): 1257–66.
3. Fisher, Robert S; Acevedo, C; Arzimanoglou, A; Bog-acz, A; Cross, JH; Elger, CE; Engel J, Jr; Forsgren, L; French, JA; Glynn, M; Hesdorffer, DC; Lee, BI; Ma-thern, GW; Moshé, SL; Perucca, E; Scheffer, IE; Tom-son, T; Watanabe, M; Wiebe, S. ―ILAE Official Report: A practical clinical definition of epilepsy‖. Epilepsia, April 2014; 55 (4): 475–82.
4. ―Epilepsy‖. Fact Sheets. World Health Organization. October 2012. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
5. Jump up to: a bFisher R, van Emde Boas W, Blume W, Elger C, Genton P, Lee P, Engel J. ―Epileptic seizures and epilepsy: definitions proposed by the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) and the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE)‖. Epilepsia, 2005; 46 (4): 470–2.
6. Longo, Dan L. ―369 Seizures and Epilepsy‖. Harrison's principles of internal medicine (18th ed). McGraw – Hill. 2012: p. 3258.
7. Eadie, MJ. ―Shortcomings in the current treatment of epilepsy.‖ Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, Dec-ember 2012; 12 (12): 1419–27.
8. Thurman, DJ; Beghi, E; Begley, CE; Berg, AT; Buch-halter, JR; Ding, D; Hesdorffer, DC; Hauser, WA; Ka-zis, L; Kobau, R; Kroner, B; Labiner, D; Liow, K; Log-roscino, G; Medina, MT; Newton, CR; Parko, K; Pas-chal, A; Preux, PM; Sander, JW; Selassie, A; Theodore, W; Tomson, T; Wiebe, S; ILAE Commission on, Epi-demiology. ‗Standards for epidemiologic studies and surveillance of epilepsy.‖ Epilepsia. September 2011; 52 Suppl. 7: 2–26.
9. Brodie, MJ; Elder, AT; Kwan, P. ―Epilepsy in later life‖. Lancet Neurology, November 2009; 8 (11): 1019–30.
10. Holmes, Thomas R. Browne, Gregory L. Handbook of epilepsy (4th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. 2008: p. 7.
11. Wyllie's treatment of epilepsy: principles and practice.
(5th ed). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer / Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2010.
12. Newton, CR. ―Epilepsy in poor regions of the world.‖ Lancet. 29 September 2012; 380 (9848): 1193–201.
13. Wilden, JA; Cohen – Gadol, AA. ―Evaluation of first nonfebrile seizures.‖ American family physician, 15 August 2012; 86 (4): 334–40.
14. Berg, AT. ―Risk of recurrence after a first unprovoked seizure‖. Epilepsia. 2008; 49 Suppl. 1: 13–8.
15. fL Devlin, A; Odell, M; L Charlton, J; Koppel, S. ―Epi-lepsy and driving: current status of research.‖ Epilepsy research, December 2012; 102 (3): 135–52.
16. Ideggyogy Sz. The familial incidence of epilepsy in the group of epileptic patients examined after their first seizure — pilot – study, 2007 Jan 20; 60 (1-2): 23-9.
17. Peljto AL1, Barker-Cummings C, Vasoli VM, Leibson CL, Hauser WA, Buchhalter JR, Ottman R. Familial risk of epilepsy: a population-based study. Brain. 2014 Mar; 137 (Pt 3): 795-805.
Original Articles