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ARTICLE
Year : 2007  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 26-29

Plasma magnesium and calcium levels in children with epilepsy in Lagos


Department of Clinical Pathology,College of Medicine, University of Lagos/ Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
O O Oladipo
Department of Clinical Pathology,College of Medicine, University of Lagos/ Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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BACKGROUND: Magnesium and calcium have been found to have increasing roles in the patho-physiology of epilepsy. Hypomagnesaemia and hypocalcaemia cause hyper-exitability of neurons and have been associated strongly with seizures in adults and children. OBJECTIVES: To determine if hypomagnesaemia or hypocalcaemia is present in Nigerian children with epilepsy and to determine the relationship between serum magnesium and calcium levels and frequency and control of epilepsy. DESIGN: A prospective case control study at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. PATIENTS AND METHODS: 45 children with epilepsy and 45 controls were recruited from the paediatric neurology unit of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. Serum magnesium and calcium were measured by spectrophotometric methods. RESULTS: Serum magnesium and calcium was significantly lower in the patients compared to the controls; Magnesium - 0.98 (0.0005) Vs 1.2 (0.04) mmol/L, p< 0.0001 and Calcium - 2.29 (0.04) Vs 2.3 (0.02) mmol/L, p<0.05 respectively. No significant differences were noted in the plasma phosphorus and albumin concentrations. CONCLUSION: Magnesium and calcium levels are lower in the epileptic children compared to the controls during the seizure-free periods. More studies are needed to evaluate these electrolytes during seizures and the effect of the different anticonvulsant drugs on these electrolytes.


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