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Epidemiological and clinical features of epileptic patients in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Journal of Neurology & Stroke
François Maheshe Polepole,1,2 Olivier Mukuku,3 Alfred Chasumba Murhula,2 Marcellin Bugeme,4 Théophile Barhwamire Kabesha,5 Stanis Okitotsho Wembonyama,4 Zacharie Kibendelwa Tsongo6

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  1. Introduction:Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions but the majority of epileptic patients in sub-Saharan African countries do not receive appropriate treatment. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), particularly in Lubumbashi, very few epidemiological studies have been conducted on epilepsy. The objective of this study was to describe socio-demographic characteristics, the type of epileptic seizures, and etiological factors of these seizures in a hospital cohort of epileptic patients followed at the Neuropsychiatric Hospital Center in Goma (in the DRC).
  2. Materials and methods: This was a cross-sectional study of 917 epileptic patients received in neurology consultation at the Neuropsychiatric Hospital Center in Goma (in the DRC) from January 1st, 2017 to December 31st, 2021.
  3. Results:The median age of patients was 16 years, the median age of the patients at onset of seizures was 13 years and the median time between onset of seizures and consultation was 8.0 months; 14.2% of had a family history of epilepsy. Generalized tonic-clonic seizures were the most frequent (76.7%), followed by motor focal impaired awareness seizures (5.2%) and non-motor focal aware seizures (3.6%). The etiologic factor was found in 444 (48.4%) patients and was dominated by chronic alcoholism (20.9%), neurocysticercosis (17.6%), meningitis (14.6%), malnutrition (11.3%), cerebral malaria (8.3%), and head injury (7.7%).
  4. Conclusion:This study provides an epidemiological overview of epilepsy in Goma city. The etiological factors and types of seizures will dictate the best possible treatment options.


epilepsy, seizures, etiology, goma