Introduction: Epilepsy is the most serious and prevalent neural disorder during childhood which its pervalance is increasing. The combination of epilepsy and mental ratardation leads to a considerable challenge and an economic load on the health system. The aim of this cross – sectional study was to identify the prevalence and monitoring of epilepsy among 6 to 21 years old mentally retarded students in Tehran.
Materials & Methods: The needed information, was collected from medical records of students and interviewing with parents.This study was done in autumn, 2002. At first , by referring to schools, the medical records of 4361 mentally retarded children were reviewed. Afterwards, some parents were randomly selected to be interviewed. Indices of age of onset, pattern of treament , parental knowledge and the time of the last seizure were used as monitoring determinants.
Results:The prevalence rate of epilepsy in these subjects was 10.55% which indicated a significant difference between the sexes (P = 0.001). In 51.1% of the students suffering from epilepsy, the age of onset was one year. 60.5% of the epileptic students had at least one epileptic attack during the last two years. The pattern of treatment medication in 46.1% of the epileptics, mentally retarded children was polypharmacy. Knowledge of 69.8% of the parents about epilepsy and how to approach it was low or very low.
Conclusion : Because of high prevalence and inadequate monitoring as well as low knowledge of parents it is necessary for parents to have educational program on epilepsy.
Mentally Retarded Children
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