IBRO Course

IBRO Course, 21 August 2019

Epilepsy is a chronic disorder that affects about 50 million people worldwide. The incidence and prevalence of this condition are high in Africa and in most of the developing countries, where access to treatment is denied to more than 80% of people with epilepsy. This high incidence is largely due to the existence in Africa and in tropical countries of many parasitic diseases that present a particular tropism for the brain.

Parasitic infections, namely neurocysticercosis and onchocerciasis, are associated with epilepsy. Recent literature shows that neurocysticercosis accounts for more cases of epilepsy in Latin America and in Africa due to the growing importance of production and consumption of pork meat under conditions of poor hygiene. In areas where NCC is endemic, 30% of cases of epilepsy are due to neurocysticercosis. In 2010, a meta-analysis found a significant association between cysticercosis and epilepsy. The estimated number of people suffering from NCC-epilepsy varies between 0.45-1.35 million in Latin America, 1 million in India, and between 0.3 and 0.7 million in China. Sub-Saharan Africa is the part of the world estimated by these authors to have the highest number of people suffering from epilepsy caused by NCC. This prevalence of NCC has been established on the basis of its association with epileptic seizures but does not always take into account other clinical manifestations of NCC.

Onchocerciasis leads to cutaneous and ocular lesions, but it has been shown that it also affects the brain and may be responsible for epilepsy. Onchocerca volvulus has recently been reported as involved in the pathophysiology of an autoimmune-mediated form of epilepsy, Nodding Syndrome, which is associated with growth retardation, malnutrition, delayed sexual development and cognitive impairment.

The aim of the course is to review essential published studies and to pave the future for the assistance and young researchers in the field of epilepsy and tropical diseases.

IBRO Course Programme

Wednesday 21 August, 08:30-17:30

08:30-09:00 Introduction  – Mesu’a-Kabwa Luabeya (Congo, DR)
09:00-10:00 Neurocysticercosis and epilepsy  – Athanase Millogo (Burkina Faso)
10:00-11:00 Onchocerciasis and epilepsy  – Robert Colebunders (Netherlands)
11:00-11:30 Break
11:30-12:30 Setting up a basic science research lab in a resource limited setting  – Joseph Raimondo (South Africa)
12:30-14:00 Lunch Break
14:00-14:45 New epilepsy classification  – Pierre Genton (France)
14:45-15:45 Women and epilepsy  – Pierre Genton (France)
15:45-16:00 Break
16:00-17:00 Quizzes (epilepsy cases)  – Pierre Genton (France) & Mesu’a-Kabwa Luabeya (Congo, DR)
17:30 END