Prevalence of epilepsy in Podgorica, Montenegro

Sanja Vodopic, Slavica Vujisic



The purpose of this study was to assess for the first time the prevalence of epilepsy in the capital of Montenegro and to describe the clinical and epidemiological profile of the disorder. A door-to-door screening was performed on population of 6 randomly selected areas of Podgorica (capital of Montenegro) using validated screening questionnaire. In phase 1, the screening by questionnaire of 4007 individuals identified 307 suspected cases of epilepsy. Four of them dropped out of further investigation just before entering the phase 2. In phase 2, the remaining 303 suspected cases were first examined by general practioner and then by an epileptologist, on two follow-up visits. The confirmation of epilepsy was based on clinical examination. Electroencephalogram (EEG), computed tomography (CT) and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were also used. 29 persons were diagnosed with epilepsy. An overall prevalence of 7.2 cases per 1000 inhabitants was calculated (CI 95% 5.0–10.0). Majority of them had been previously diagnosed (86.20%), 27 had active epilepsy and over a half of them were on polymedication (65.51%). Referring to the 27 patients with active epilepsy, the predominant seizure type was partial (all types) in 14 (48.27%) and undetermined in 2 (6.89%). Cause of epilepsy was determined in 10 patients. EEG abnormalities were found in almost all patients (89.65%). CT anomaly was determined in 9 whereas only 1 patient had an abnormal MRI finding. The estimated prevalence of epilepsy indicated higher rates compared to neighboring counties and the rest of the Europe, but limitations of the study (high rejection rate and stigma) should be taken into consideration.


epilepsy, active epilepsy, door-to-door screening, prevalence, Montenegro

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