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Ital J Neurol Sci. 1996 Apr;17(2):147-51.

Prevalence of epilepsy. A door-to-door survey in the Sicilian community of Riposto.

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  • 1Istituto di Scienze Neurologiche, Universit√† di Catania, Italy.


In a door-to-door survey of common neurological disorders in Sicily (SNES Project), we administered a screening symptoms questionnaire and a brief neurological examination to detect epileptic patients. All of the subjects effectively resident in the community of Riposto on 1 November 1987 (prevalence day) were investigated (n = 9956). The subjects with a positive questionnaire or a previous diagnosis of epilepsy were extensively examined by a neurologist and then definitively classified for epilepsy by a panel of senior neurologists. The crude prevalence of active and non-active epilepsy was 3.21/1000; the prevalence of active epilepsy alone was 2.71/1000. Of the 27 active cases, sixteen were affected by generalized tonic-clonic seizures, four by absences and four by complex partial attacks. All except two were being treated with antiepileptic drugs, most with phenobarbital. Our prevalence rate is lower than that reported by most authors, but similar to the rates in other Sicilian communities.

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