Purpose: A period of military conflict is characterized by high level of stress. In this study, we examined the seizure frequency in a civilian population of patients with seizures during a period of military conflict. Methods: This retrospective study investigated seizure frequency in patients with seizures seen at the epilepsy clinic of Barzilai Medical Center during the summer of 2014 when the military operation “Protective Edge” between Israel and Gaza took place. Data collected included age, gender, type of seizures, diagnosis, medications, geographic area of living, medical history, imaging, EEG findings and seizure frequency before, during and after the period of conflict. The study was approved by the local Institutional Review Board. Results: Sixty-three (35 men, 55%) patients were included in the study. No significant change in seizure frequency was seen in most patients Mean frequency of seizures was one/3 months during the military operation, not significantly different from seizure frequency before and after the period of conflict. Demographic data, disease duration, findings on MRI or EEG, drug therapy or distance from the Gaza Strip were not associated with change in seizure frequency. However, an increased seizure frequency during the period of military conflict was found in patients with Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures (PNES) compared with patients with epileptic seizures (p = 0.04, Fisher's exact test). Conclusion: Our study did not show any significant change in seizure frequency during a period of military conflict in most of patients with epilepsy. However, the frequency of spells increased in patients with PNES during this period.
- Civilian population
- Psychogenic non-epileptic seizure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology