Annals of African Medicine
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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 136-144

Obesity and metabolic syndrome in patients with epilepsy, their relation with epilepsy control

Department of Neurology, College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Saima Nazish
Department of Neurology, College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aam.aam_139_22

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Obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS) are commonly observed in patients with epilepsy (PWE). Obesity and MetS are not only affecting the physical fitness and quality of life of these patients, rather antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) compliance and seizure control have also been affected. The objective of this review is to search the published literature regarding the prevalence of obesity and MetS in PWE and their relation to the response to AEDs. A comprehensive search using PubMed, Cochrane Databases, and Google Scholar was performed. A supplementary citation search was also conducted by analyzing the reference lists of identified sources. The initial search revealed 364 articles of potential relevance. The studies were analyzed in detail to obtain clinical information relevant to the objectives of the review. Many observational, case control studies, randomized control trials and few review articles were included for critical appraisal and review writing. Epilepsy is associated with MetS and obesity in all age groups. AEDs and lack of exercise are the chief causes while metabolic disturbances such as adiponectin, mitochondrial dysfunction, valproic acid (VPA)-associated insulin resistance, leptin deficiency, and endocrine dysfunction are also addressable factors. Although the risk of drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE) is also higher among obese PWE, the interaction between, MetS, and its components with DRE remain to be fully investigated. Further research is required to elucidate their interplay. Appropriate and careful selection of AEDs without compromising therapeutic efficacy supplemented by lifestyle counseling for exercise and diet should be practiced to avoid weight gain and potential DRE.

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