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Afr Health Sci. 2012 Sep;12(3):242-8.

Clinical and epidemiologic characteristics of nodding syndrome in Mundri County, southern Sudan.

Author information

1
Department of Paediatrics and Child Health Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda. kabaleimc@gmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Nodding syndrome (repetitive nodding and progressive generalized seizures) is assuming epidemic proportions in South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

OBJECTIVE:

To describe clinical and epidemiological features of nodding syndrome in southern Sudan based on preliminary investigations conducted in 2001 and 2002.

METHOD:

Household surveys, clinical, electrophysiological (EEG) assessments, informant interviews and case-control studies were conducted in the town of Lui and the village of Amadi in southern Sudan.

RESULTS:

Nodding syndrome is characterized by involuntary repetitive nodding of the head, progressing to generalized seizures; mental and physical deterioration. The EEGs were consistent with progressive epileptic encephalopathy. Prevalence of Nodding syndrome in Lui and Amadi was 2.3% and 6.7% respectively. All case control studies showed a positive association between cases and Onchocerca volvulus. A history of measles was negatively associated with being a case: 2/13 of cases and 11/19 of controls had had measles: odds ratio 0.13 (95% CI 0.02, 0.76). Environmental assessment did not reveal any naturally occurring or manmade neurotoxic factors to explain Nodding Syndrome, although fungal contamination of food could not be ruled out.

CONCLUSION:

Nodding Syndrome was strongly associated with Onchocerca volvulus. There was no evidence to suggest an environmental pollutant, chemical agent, or other toxic factor.

KEYWORDS:

South Sudan; clinical; epidemiology; nodding; syndrome

PMID:
23382736
PMCID:
PMC3557692
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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