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Epilepsia. 1988 Mar-Apr;29(2):116-22.

Prevalence and pattern of epilepsy (Lath/Mirgi/Laran) in rural Kashmir, India.

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Department of Neurology, Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura, Srinagar, India.


The rural population of 63,645 living in the mountainous Kuthar Valley of South Kashmir, Northwest India was surveyed to determine the prevalence of major neurologic disorders, including epilepsy (called Lath/Mirgi/Laran in the local language). The survey was done according to a World Health Organization protocol (1981). House-to-house screening was done by Anganwadi workers to identify people with possible epilepsy. The screening questionnaire was translated into local vernacular. Persons who had some indication of a history of seizures or other neurologic disease were subsequently examined by a neurologic team. The diagnostic criteria of Hauser and Kurland (1975) were used to define cases of active epilepsy and seizure classification (ILAE, 1981) was done only with clinical data. One hundred fifty-seven cases of active epilepsy were detected, giving a crude prevalence rate of 2.47/1,000 general population. In those aged less than 14 years, prevalence was 3.18/1,000. Ninety-five (60.5%) of all cases were male; 91% of active epilepsy cases had onset of seizures before age 30 years. Mean age of onset in males was 5.3 years, and in females it was 7.1 years. Mean duration of seizures was 6 years; 78.9% cases had generalized seizures, 74.5% cases were receiving no specific treatment, 99.4% cases were born of home delivery, and 8.9% cases had a positive family history of seizures. Mental retardation was the most common associated abnormality in 22.9% of cases.

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