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This observational cross-sectional study included 50
children with idiopathic epilepsy who were recruited from the
Pediatric Neurology Clinic at Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt and
100 non-epileptic age and gender matched controls.
The collected data was revised, coded, tabulated and
introduced to a PC using Statistical package for Social Science (SPSS
25). Data was presented and suitable analysis was done according to
the type of data obtained for each parameter.
• As regards population demographic and anthropometric
data, the mean age of the studied population was 8.64±3.54
years and 52.7% of them were males. The average weight
and height of included subjects were 27.31 ±11.59kg and
120.69 ±21.93cm, respectively. The mean occipitofrontal
circumference was 51.2 cm.
• The cases and control groups were age and gender matched.
A slight male preponderance was observed in the cases
group, with males making up 54% of the total group.
Among the studied patients, 18% had positive consanguinity
and Family history of epilepsy was positive in 28%.
• Among the cases, the mean age at seizure onset was
3.75±2.93 years, with a mean frequency of 24.7 ±70.9
seizures per month, with a mean duration of 9.26 minutes
per seizure. The seizures were generalized in 96% of the
cases and focal in only 4% of the cases. The seizures were
almost always followed by a post ictal phase. The EEG was
abnormal in 56% of the patients. While it was improved in
50% of the patients after treatment. 72% were controlled on
the first line drug, the rest of the patients needed shifting to
other drugs to be controlled. The vast majority of patients
(82%) ended up being controlled on monotherapy.
• There was a statistically significant difference between cases
and control in terms of weight percentiles. The difference
between cases and controls regarding the occipitofrontal
circumference percentile was nearing statistical significance
(p =0.06), with the values being consistently lower in the
• The mean serum zinc was significantly lower in cases than
in controls (p =0.001). However, there was no statistically
significant difference between cases and controls in terms of
mean hair zinc level.
• Serum and hair zinc levels were not affected by age, gender
or anthropemetric measures of the studied groups.
• A low serum and hair zinc level were associated with: 1. An
earlier age of seizure onset. 2. Higher average duration of
• Hair and serum levels of zinc were positively correlated in
the whole populations’ cases and control, the correlation
was statistically significant (p=0.002).