Epilepsy and neurocysticercosis: an incidence study in a Peruvian rural population.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Epilepsy is a serious neurological disorder and neurocysticercosis (NCC), the central nervous system infection by the larvae of Taenia solium, is the main cause of acquired epilepsy in developing countries. NCC is becoming more frequent in industrialized countries due to immigration from endemic areas. Previously reported epilepsy incidences range from 30 to 50/100,000 people in industrialized countries and 90 to 122/100,000 people in developing countries.


To determine the incidence of epilepsy in a cysticercosis endemic area of Peru.


A screening survey for possible seizure cases was repeated biannually in this cohort for a period of 5 years (1999-2004) using a previously validated questionnaire. All positive respondents throughout the study were examined by a trained neurologist in the field to confirm the seizure. If confirmed, they were offered treatment, serological testing, neuroimaging (CT scans and MRI) and clinical follow-up.


The cohort study comprised 817 individuals. The overall epilepsy incidence rate was 162.3/100,000 person-years, and for epileptic seizures, 216.6/100,000 person-years. Out of the 8 individuals who had epileptic seizures, 4 had markers for NCC (neuroimaging and/or serology).


The incidence of epilepsy in this area endemic for cysticercosis is one of the highest reported worldwide.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Villarán, MV; Montano, SM; Gonzalvez, G; Moyano, LM; Chero, JC; Rodriguez, S; Gonzalez, AE; Pan, W; Tsang, VCW; Gilman, RH; Garcia, HH; Cysticercosis Working Group in Peru,

Published Date

  • January 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 33 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 25 - 31

PubMed ID

  • 19325247

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2826439

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1423-0208

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0251-5350

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1159/000210019


  • eng