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Neurologia. 2019 May 4. pii: S0213-4853(19)30052-0. doi: 10.1016/j.nrl.2019.02.004. [Epub ahead of print]

Identifying areas for improvement in epilepsy management in developing countries: An experience of neurocooperation in Cameroon.

[Article in English, Spanish]

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Servicio de Neurología, Hospital Clínico Universitario San Carlos, Madrid, España.
Unidad de Cefaleas, Servicio de Neurología, Hospital Clínico Universitario de Valladolid, Valladolid, España. Electronic address:
HM-CINAC, HM Hospital Universitario Puerta del Sur, Móstoles, Madrid, España; Departamento de Anatomía, Histología y Neurociencia, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, España.
Hospital Universitario Rey Juan Carlos, Móstoles, Madrid, España.
Unidad de Trastornos del Movimiento, Departamento de Neurología, Hospital Ruber Internacional, Madrid, España.
Unidad de Epilepsia, Servicio de Neurología, Hospital Clínico Universitario San Carlos, Madrid, España; Programa de Epilepsia, Servicio de Neurología, Hospital Ruber Internacional, Madrid, España.



Epilepsy is especially prevalent in developing countries: incidence and prevalence rates are at least twice as high as in our setting. Epilepsy is also highly stigmatised, and few resources are available for its management.


We performed a descriptive observational study in December 2016, distributing a questionnaire on epilepsy management to healthcare professionals from 3 different hospitals in Cameroon. Data are presented as means or percentages.


Thirty-eight healthcare providers participated in the survey; 42.1% were female and mean age was 40.1 years (range, 22-62). Regarding the causes of epilepsy, 68.4% considered it a psychiatric condition, 34.2% a degenerative disease, 28.9% a hereditary condition, and 21.1% secondary to infection. In terms of management, 23.7% considered that thorough clinical history is sufficient to establish a diagnosis. Only 60.5% considered the clinical interview to be important for diagnosis, 52.6% considered EEG to be necessary, and 28.9% considered laboratory analyses to be important. Only 13.2% mentioned neuroimaging. In the treatment of pregnant women, 36.8% recommended folic acid supplementation, 65.8% believed antiepileptic treatment should be maintained, and only 39.5% recommended breastfeeding. Concerning treatment, the participants knew a mean of 2 antiepileptic drugs: phenobarbital was the best known (81.6%), followed by carbamazepine (55.3%) and valproic acid (28.9%).


There is a need among healthcare professionals for education and information on the disease, its diagnosis, and management options, in order to optimise management and consequently improve patients' quality of life.


Developing; Educación; Education; Embarazo; En vías de desarrollo; Epilepsia; Epilepsy; Pregnancy; Tratamiento; Treatment

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