Meta-analysis of three case controlled studies and an ecological study into the link between cryptogenic epilepsy and chronic toxoplasmosis
Palmer, B. S.
Seizure-European Journal of Epilepsy 2007;16: 657-663
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A meta-analysis was performed on three case controlled studies which examined the relationship between latent toxoplasmosis gondii infection in the immunocompetent host and cryptogenic epilepsy. Further comparison was also made by examining the seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis rates for 17 various countries, cities or regions against the prevalence rates for epilepsy in those regions. Results: The results for the meta-analysis showed a Log-odds ratio of 4.8 which approximates to a similar relative risk, (Cl 2.6 to 7.8), with Cl for all three studies being above 1. Seroprevalence rates for toxoplasmosis and prevalence rates of epilepsy showed a strong association (p < 0.001). Discussion: The prevalence of toxoplasmosis is an important factor in the prevalence of epilepsy with a probable link in the cryptogenic epilepsies. An area with a reduced burden of toxoplasmosis will also have a reduced burden of epilepsy. Neuropathophysiology findings from various studies show a common physical relationship of microglial nodule formation in Toxoplasma gondii infection and epilepsy. This analysis raises the possibility that one of the many causes of epilepsy may be an infectious agent, or that cryptogenic epilepsy may be a consequence of Latent toxoplasmosis infection. This raises the possibility that public health measures to reduce toxoplasmosis infection may also result in a reduction in epilepsy.