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Neuroepidemiology. 1997;16(2):94-8.

Prevalence of epilepsy in a migrant population near Quito, Ecuador.

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  • 1Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., USA.


A census, uniform screening questionnaire and simple screening neurologic examination were administered door to door to the 221 residents of Paluguillo, a rural migrant community near Quito, Ecuador. This protocol was pretested to assure a high level of sensitivity for detecting major neurologic diseases in both children and adults. Of the participants, 119 (54%) had responses or findings suggesting the presence of neurologic disease, and, in particular, 53 (24%) had responses suggestive of epilepsy. These individuals were then examined by neurologists using fixed diagnostic criteria. The prevalence ratio for epilepsy was found to be 22.6/1,000. The results of this survey support the conclusion that epilepsy has a higher prevalence in rural areas of socioeconomically deprived countries than it does in industrialized nations.

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