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Hot water epilepsy clinical profile and treatment—a prospective study

A Meghana, S Sinha, T N Sathyaprabha, D K Subbakrishna, P Satishchandra
Epilepsy Research 2012, 102 (3): 160-6

PURPOSE: This study characterized the demographic, clinical, EEG and imaging profile, and therapeutic outcome among patients with hot water epilepsy (HWE).

METHODOLOGY: This prospective study included 70 patients with HWE (M:F=55:15; age: 25.3±8.4 years). Details of demography, seizure characteristics and outcome, and imaging/EEG observations were recorded.

RESULT: There was male dominance. Majority of the patients belonged to Mandya: 30.5%, Ramanagara: 30.0% and Mysore: 15.2% districts of Karnataka, India. Forty-five patients (M:F=37:8; age: 24.6±10.1 years) had features of 'HWE alone'. Twenty-five (M:F=18:7; age: 26.7±7.9 years) had HWE with spontaneous seizures. The age at onset of seizures was comparable in both the groups - HWE: 18.7±10.2 years vs. HWE with spontaneous seizure: 16.8±10.3 years (p=0.34). The duration of seizures were more in HWE with spontaneous seizure group: 119.5±66.9 months compared to HWE alone: 69.9±13.8 months (p=0.028). Inter-ictal EEG (n=70) showed epileptiform activities in 15 patients (21.4%). The therapeutic outcome after 3-8 months of follow up were - (a) HWE group: 6 stopped hot water head bath; 39 were on intermittent clobazam therapy - seizure free: 33; and 6 received AEDs; (b) HWE with spontaneous seizure group: all were on AEDs and seizure free.

CONCLUSIONS: Three-fourth of patients belonged to 'Mandya-Mysore belt of Karnataka'. There was increased duration of seizures among those with additional spontaneous seizure. About 3/4th subjects with HWE alone were seizure free with intermittent clobazam and remaining patients on AEDs were seizure free, confirming the earlier observations from this center.

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