Publications by authors named "Jaime Luna"

13 Publications

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Comparison of the ability of the King's and MiToS staging systems to predict disease progression and survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener 2021 Apr 8:1-9. Epub 2021 Apr 8.

INSERM, University of Limoges, CHU Limoges, IRD, U1094 Tropical Neuroepidemiology, Institute of Epidemiology and Tropical Neurology, GEIST,Limoges, France.

Assessing clinical progression in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) remains a challenge. We evaluated the validity and predictive capabilities of the King's and Milano-Torino Staging (MiToS) systems in a cohort of patients with ALS to demonstrate their benefit in clinical practice. A cohort study was performed by including ALS incident cases in a referral center from 2007 to 2016. The staging systems were determined at time of diagnosis and follow-up. The standardized median times to reach each stage were computed. A multi-state model in the framework of the Cox model evaluated the predictive value of measurements. The survival C-statistic was reported as a measure of prediction ability. Overall, 298 incident cases were included. The King's and MiToS systems described a progressive increase in the risk of dying with each elapsed stage. However, a lower resolution for late disease description for the King's system was observed, and late stages overlapped for the MiToS system. Slight variations in the staging systems appeared to improve performance based on validity and prediction abilities: (i) in the King's (-statistic = 0.783), by adding a new stage involving the need for both gastrostomy and NIV: (ii) in the MiToS (-statistic = 0.792), by merging stage 3 and stage 4 into a single stage 3. Both King's and MiToS are valid systems but have certain limitations. Variations in the staging systems may provide a more suitable framework for describing progression and survival. Further research is needed to evaluate the variations in the staging systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21678421.2021.1903506DOI Listing
April 2021

Time-trend evolution and determinants of sex ratio in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: a dose-response meta-analysis.

J Neurol 2021 Feb 25. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Unit of Biostatistics, Fondazione IRCCS Casa Sollievo Della Sofferenza, San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy.

Background: A noticeable change of the male-to-female sex ratio (SR) has been observed in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) leading to an apparent regression of SR with time (SR close to 1:1).

Objective: To provide a global SR estimate and investigate its relation with respect to population age.

Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted including only population-based studies with a high-quality methodology in European ancestral origin population. Male-to-female SR was estimated by three different measures: SR number, SR crude incidence and SR standardized incidence. Standard and dose-response meta-analyses were performed to assess the pooled SR measures (irrespective of population age) and the evolution of the SR measures with respect to population age, respectively. Potential sources of heterogeneity were investigated via meta-regression.

Results: Overall, 3254 articles were retrieved in the literature search. Thirty-nine studies stratified by time periods were included. The overall pooled male-to-female ratio was 1.28 (95% CI 1.23-1.32) for SR number, 1.33 (95% CI 1.29-1.38) for SR crude incidence and 1.35 (95% CI 1.31-1.40) for SR standardized incidence. The SR number with respect to population age reveals a progressive reduction of SR at increasing age, while the SR crude incidence in relation to age displays a U-shaped curve.

Conclusions: The number and the incidence of ALS cases were consistently higher in males than females. Dose-response meta-analysis showed that SR measures change with respect to population age. Further original research is needed to clarify if our findings are reproducible in other populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-021-10464-2DOI Listing
February 2021

Onchocerciasis in tropical neurology: A scoping review.

J Neurol Sci 2021 Feb 9;421:117314. Epub 2021 Jan 9.

INSERM, Univ. Limoges, CHU Limoges, IRD, U1094 Tropical Neuroepidemiology, Institute of Epidemiology and Tropical Neurology, GEIST, Limoges, France. Electronic address:

Background: Onchocerciasis is a serious problem in tropical areas. The role of the parasite as a factor associated with neurological diseases needs to be addressed because it might involve a reduction of the risk via elimination strategies. We performed a systematic scoping review to identify available studies on this association and put into perspective the different methodological approaches for interpreting the evidence.

Methodology: A literature search was conducted using MEDLINE (Pubmed) through October 1, 2020. We included all the studies evaluating the association between onchocerciasis and four neurological diseases (epilepsy, nodding syndrome, Nakalanga syndrome, and encephalitis) in tropical countries. A descriptive and critical summary of the results was conducted to provide an overview of the findings.

Results: Overall, 161 articles were identified in the literature search. After full-length examination, we included twelve articles for epilepsy and three for nodding syndrome. Two meta-analyses of case-control studies found a modest strength of the association between O. volvulus and epilepsy. Recent meta-analyses and original studies support a significant association. Epidemiological studies suggest an association between onchocerciasis and nodding syndrome, however, the level of evidence from case-control studies was relatively low. No measure of association was reported for Nakalanga syndrome. There was no specific study on the association between O. volvulus and encephalitis.

Conclusion: The association between onchocerciasis and epilepsy seems increasingly likely. However, there are still many unanswered questions about the different clinical presentations of this epilepsy. Strong international collaboration is essential to improve our understanding of risk factors and physiopathological mechanisms of these intriguing conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2021.117314DOI Listing
February 2021

Prevalence of idiopathic REM behavior disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Sleep 2021 Jan 3. Epub 2021 Jan 3.

Department of Medical, Surgical and Advanced technologies G.F. Ingrassia, Section of Neurosciences, University of Catania, Italy.

Study Objectives: To provide an overall estimate of the prevalence of idiopathic REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (iRBD).

Methods: Two investigators have independently searched the PubMed and Scopus databases for population-based studies assessing the prevalence of iRBD. Data about type of diagnosis (polysomnographic diagnosis, defined iRBD [dRBD]; clinical diagnosis, probable RBD [pRBD]), continent, age range of the screened population, quality of the studies, sample size, screening questionnaires and strategies have been gathered. A random effect model was used to estimate the pooled prevalence. Heterogeneity was investigated with subgroup analysis and meta-regression.

Results: From 857 articles found in the databases, 19 articles were selected for the systematic review and meta-analysis. According to the type of diagnosis, five studies identified dRBD cases given a pooled prevalence of 0.68% (95%CI 0.38-1.05) without significant heterogeneity (Cochran's Q p=0.11; I 2 = 46.43%). Fourteen studies assessed the prevalence of pRBD with a pooled estimate of 5.65% (95%CI 4.29-7.18) and a significant heterogeneity among the studies (Cochran's Q p<0.001; I 2 = 98.21%). At the subgroup analysis, significant differences in terms of prevalence were present according to the quality of the studies and, after removing two outlaying studies, according to the continents and the screening questionnaire used. Meta-regression did not identify any significant effect of the covariates on the pooled estimates.

Conclusion: Prevalence estimates of iRBD are significantly impacted by diagnostic level of certainty. Variations in pRBD prevalence are due to methodological differences in study design and screening questionnaires employed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsaa294DOI Listing
January 2021

A Standard Framework for Population-Based Neuroepidemiological Studies in Tropical Low- and Middle-Income Countries.

Neuroepidemiology 2020 19;54(2):96-105. Epub 2019 Dec 19.

INSERM, U1094, Tropical Neuroepidemiology, Limoges, France,

Methodologies of population-based studies on neurological diseases in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) have not been standardized. The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of the numerous challenges occurring in this context and propose a standard framework for population-based studies in LMICs. We relied on our expertise on few diseases, epilepsy and neurodegenerative disorders. The proposed framework is the result of extensive field experience in tropical LMICs. It ensures that important steps are not forgotten when setting up a study plan. It must remain flexible and be adapted to each situation, to the disease studied, in particular its prevalence, but also to the geography of the study area and the availability of survey technologies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000503235DOI Listing
February 2021

Screening Questionnaires to Detect Neurological Disorders in Developing Countries: A Systematic Review.

Neuroepidemiology 2020 6;54(1):24-32. Epub 2019 Dec 6.

INSERM, U1094, Tropical Neuroepidemiology, Limoges, France.

Introduction: Neurological disorders are an important cause of disability and death worldwide. The distribution of these disorders differs significantly in developing countries. Screening questionnaires have been used as an important tool to detect neurological illnesses. This systematic literature review aimed to report the validity of screening questionnaires for neurological disorders in developing countries.

Methods: The PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Science-Direct, and PASCAL databases were searched. All published studies performed in developing countries were eligible. The risk of bias was assessed using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies version 2 tool. Summary measures of validity were reported (sensitivity and specificity).

Results: Eight hundred and thirty-five records were identified, and 49 articles that met eligibility criteria were selected. The most frequently neurological disorders detected with a screening tool were epilepsy, stroke, and neuropathies (77, 53, and 40%, respectively). Ten screening questionnaires were accessible. Two questionnaires were mainly used to detect neurological disorders: the World Health Organization Protocol for Epidemiologic Studies of Neurologic Disorders and the Ten Questions Questionnaire. The sensitivity of the questionnaires was ranged from 84 to 100% and 56 to 100%, respectively.

Conclusion: This systematic review presents evidence that screening questionnaires are valid tools to detect neurological disorders in developing countries. Disease detection provides epidemiological data and the opportunity to implement secondary and tertiary prevention strategies that will contribute to reduce the global burden of neurological disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000502234DOI Listing
February 2021

Residential exposure to ultra high frequency electromagnetic fields emitted by Global System for Mobile (GSM) antennas and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis incidence: A geo-epidemiological population-based study.

Environ Res 2019 09 11;176:108525. Epub 2019 Jun 11.

INSERM, U1094, Tropical Neuroepidemiology, Limoges, France; Univ. Limoges, UMR 1094, Tropical Neuroepidemiology, Institute of Epidemiology and Tropical Neurology, GEIST, 87000 Limoges, France. Electronic address:

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease of unknown etiology. Mobile communication antennas have increased over the last few decades. Consequently, there has been a steady increase in environmental exposure to ultra high frequency electromagnetic fields (UHF-EMFs) emitted by Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication antennas, which raises concerns about possible health risks in the general population. We aimed to evaluate the relationship between residential exposure to UHF-EMFs generated by GSM antennas and the risk of ALS in general population. A geo-epidemiological population-based study was performed in Limousin (France). ALS incident cases were identified through a register (FRALim, 2000-2012 period). A model to estimate UHF-EMF exposure was developed based on the distance and the power of GSM antennas. Exposure to multiple emissions from multiple directions was considered. A non-cumulative and a cumulative model were established. A geographic information system integrated the raster model of exposure, and the residential distribution of observed and expected cases. A generalized linear model was performed to test the association. Overall, 312 ALS cases were included. We estimated exposures below 1.72 V/m in urban areas and below 1.23 V/m in rural areas for 90% of the population. A gradient effect between UHF-EMF exposure and ALS incidence was apparent with a statistically significant trend. A significant increased risk of ALS was observed between the non-exposure category and the highest exposure category, with a relative risk of 1.78 (95% CI: 1.28-2.48) in the non-cumulative model and 1.83 (95% CI: 1.32-2.54) in the cumulative model. Our results suggest a possible association between residential UHF-EMF exposure and ALS. Ecological studies are a means of generating hypotheses. Further studies are needed to clarify the potential role of EMFs on neurodegeneration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2019.108525DOI Listing
September 2019

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mortality rates among ethnic groups in a predominant admixed population in Latin America: a population-based study in Ecuador.

Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener 2019 08 2;20(5-6):404-412. Epub 2019 Apr 2.

a INSERM, U1094, Tropical Neuroepidemiology , Limoges , France.

Current evidence suggests heterogeneity of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) among geographic areas and populations. Lower mortality rates have been reported in admixed populations compared to European origin populations. We aimed to describe and compare ALS mortality rates among ethnic groups using a population-based approach in a multiethnic country. Annual mortality cause registers were searched to determine ALS deaths from the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses in Ecuador (INEC) from 1990 to 2016. Mid-year population was considered for each year. The time trend was assessed using a negative binomial regression. Rate ratio statistics were performed to compare the age and sex standardized rates based on the 2010 US population among ethnic groups. Overall, 570 ALS deaths were identified. ALS mortality showed an age-related profile with a peak between 55 and 70 years. After age-sex standardization on the 2010 US population, mortality rate was 0.33 (CI 0.30-0.36) per 100,000. The time trend showed an increase of ALS mortality ( < 0.001). There was no statistical difference in age-sex standardized mortality rates per 100,000 when admixed was compared to white ( = 0.231) and black ( = 0.125). Differences reached statistical significance between admixed and other ethnics ( = 0.015). Our population-based study supports the hypothesis that ALS occurrence is lower in predominant admixed populations from Latin America compared to European and Northern American populations. Further studies are needed to clarify the role of ancestral origin in ALS susceptibility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21678421.2019.1587632DOI Listing
August 2019

Sociocultural representations of epilepsy in the Central African Republic: A door-to-door survey.

Seizure 2019 Apr 27;67:23-26. Epub 2019 Feb 27.

INSERM, U1094,Tropical Neuroepidemiology, Limoges, France; Univ. Limoges, UMR_S 1094, Tropical Neuroepidemiology, Institute of Neuroepidemiology and Tropical Neurology, CNRS FR 3503 GEIST, F-87000, Limoges, France.

Purpose: To describe sociocultural representations of epilepsy in a sub-Saharan Africa rural community using a population-based approach.

Method: A cross-sectional door-to-door survey was underway on a rural community of the Central African Republic in 2015. A two-stage stratified sampling was performed. Trained care personnel performed individual face-to-face interviews. A standardized questionnaire was used to assess epilepsy. We collected sociodemographic data and cultural representations toward epilepsy in general population.

Results: Overall, 1023 participants were interviewed. Epilepsy prevalence was 11.7 (95%CI 6.7-20.4) per 1000 people. In the rural community, epilepsy was identified as a supernatural disease related to bad luck (40.4%), witchcraft (31.3%) or a curse (28.3%). Epilepsy was confused with a mental disorder in 75.9% of subjects. Three quarters of participants (75.3%) considered epilepsy as a contagious disease. Saliva was mainly mentioned as a means of transmission in 63.8%. More than half of participants preferred or recommended traditional treatments. Only 24.8% believed in the efficacy of medical treatment for epilepsy.

Conclusions: Epilepsy misconceptions are highly prevalent in rural sub-Saharan Africa. Understanding misrepresentations is an essential phase to develop culturally appropriate interventional programs in order to improve medical treatment adherence, quality of life, and to decrease stigma. Campaigns to raise awareness are needed in urban and rural population to reduce misconception and combat stigmatization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.seizure.2019.02.018DOI Listing
April 2019

Herbal medicine for epilepsy seizures in Asia, Africa and Latin America: A systematic review.

J Ethnopharmacol 2019 Apr 2;234:119-153. Epub 2019 Jan 2.

INSERM, U1094, Tropical Neuroepidemiology, 2 rue du Dr Marcland, 87025 Limoges, France; Univ. Limoges, UMR 1094, Tropical Neuroepidemiology, Institute of Neuroepidemiology and Tropical Neurology, 2 rue du Dr Marcland, 87025 Limoges, France. Electronic address:

Relevance: More than 70 million people suffer epilepsy worldwide. Low availability of anti-epileptic drugs, side-effects and drug-resistant epilepsy affect the quality of life of persons with epilepsy in countries with a poorly developed health system. Herbal medicine is frequently used for this neurological condition.

Objectives: The main objective was to provide a detailed analysis of Herbal Medicine used for neurological conditions related with epilepsy in Asia, Africa and Latin America. More broadly, this study aims to highlight species with assessed efficacy (cross-cultural use, pharmacological effects on models of epileptic seizures) and safety (toxicological data in laboratory) information, in order to point out species of interest for further studies. A critical assessment of models used in pharmacological evaluations was done.

Materials And Methods: The systematic search for Herbal Medicine treatments for epilepsy was performed considering all the articles published until February 2017 through three scientific databases. It was made with MeSH terms and free text defining the epilepsy seizures and plant species. We included studies carried out in Asia, Africa and Latin America. All articles reporting the use of Herbal Medicine to treat epilepsy seizures and/or their pharmacological evaluation were retained for further analysis.

Results: The search yielded 1886 articles, from 30 countries. Hundred and six articles published between 1982 and 2017 were included, corresponding to a total of 497 use reports for 351 plant species belonging to 106 families. Three hundred and seventy seven use reports corresponding to 264 species in ethnopharmacological surveys and 120 evaluation reports corresponding to 107 species were noted. Twenty-nine reports, for 29 species, combined both ethnopharmacological and pharmacological evaluation. Fifty eight studies originated from Africa, 35 studies from Asia and 18 from Latin America. Highest use report was noted for rhizomes of Acorus calamus L. (12 use report in 1 country) and leaves of Bacopa monnieri (L.) Wettst. (8 use report in 2 countries). Therefore these species display the highest use convergence. Regarding pharmacological evaluation most studied species were: Leonotis leonurus (L.) R.Br. (4 evaluation reports in 1 country), Uncaria rhynchophylla (Miq.) Miq. ex Havil. (3 evaluation reports in 2 countries) and Calotropis gigantea (L.) Dryand. (3 evaluation reports in 1 country). In vivo models of chronic epilepsy were more relevant than in vitro models or chemical models inducing acute seizures for pharmacological assessment.

Conclusion: Species with the highest use report were not those with pharmacological evaluation. It will be pertinent to assess the pharmacological effects and safety of medicinal plants used mostly by traditional healers on predictive models of seizures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2018.12.049DOI Listing
April 2019

Clinical features and prognosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in Africa: the TROPALS study.

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2019 01 21;90(1):20-29. Epub 2018 Sep 21.

INSERM, U1094, Tropical Neuroepidemiology, Limoges, France

Objective: We describe and compare the sociodemographic and clinical features, treatments, and prognoses and survival times of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in Africa.

Methodology: We conducted a multicentre, hospital-based cohort study in Africa. Patients with ALS diagnosed in the neurology departments of participating hospitals from 2005 to 2017 were included. Subgroup analysis was performed by subcontinent. Survival analyses were conducted using the Cox proportional hazards model.

Results: Nine centres from eight African countries participated. A total of 185 patients with ALS were included: 114 from Northern Africa, 41 from Western Africa and 30 from Southern Africa. A male predominance (male to female ratio 2.9) was evident. The median age at onset was 53.0 years (IQR 44.5-64.0 years). The onset was bulbar in 22.7%. Only 47 patients (26.3%) received riluzole, mainly in Northern and Western Africa. The median survival from the time of diagnosis was 14.0 months (95% CI 10.7 to 17.2 months). The median survival was longer in Northern Africa (19.0 months, 95% CI 10.8 to 27.2 months) than in Western (4.0 months, 95% CI 0.8 to 7.1 months) and Southern (11.0 months, 95% CI 5.6 to 16.4 months) Africa (Breslow test, p<0.0001). Both subcontinental location and riluzole treatment independently affected survival.

Conclusion: More African patients with ALS were male and younger and exhibited a lower proportion of bulbar onset compared with patients with ALS from Western nations. Survival was consistent with that in Western registers but far shorter than what would be expected for young patients with ALS. The research improves our understanding of the disease in Africa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2018-318469DOI Listing
January 2019

Updated evidence of the association between toxocariasis and epilepsy: Systematic review and meta-analysis.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2018 07 20;12(7):e0006665. Epub 2018 Jul 20.

INSERM, U1094, Tropical Neuroepidemiology, Limoges, France.

Objective: To gain further insight on the association between human toxocariasis and epilepsy in light of the new evidence in the last years.

Methods: A systematic review was conducted without date and language restriction in the following electronic databases: MEDLINE (PubMed), Ingenta Connect, Science Direct (Elsevier), RefDoc, Scopus, HighWire, Scielo and the database of the Institute of Neuroepidemiology and Tropical Neurology of the Limoges University (IENT). Two investigators independently conducted the search up to November 2017. A pooled odds ratio (OR) was estimated using a random effects model. Meta-regression was conducted to investigate potential sources of heterogeneity.

Results: Database search produced 204 publications. Eleven case-control studies were included that were carried out in 13 countries worldwide. A total number of 4740 subjects were considered (2159 people with epilepsy and 2581 people without epilepsy). The overall pooled OR was 1.69 (95% CI 1.42-2.01) for the association between epilepsy and Toxocara spp. seropositivity. A positive association was constantly reported in the restricted analysis (WB as confirmatory or diagnostic test, younger population, and population-based studies). Meta-regression showed no statistically significant association between covariates and outcome.

Conclusion: The updated meta-analysis provides epidemiological evidence of a positive association between Toxocara seropositivity and epilepsy. New surveys supported the association, mainly population-based studies. On this basis, health strategies to reduce the impact of Toxocara spp are strongly advised. Further research should be performed to understand the physiopathological mechanisms of toxocara-associated epileptogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0006665DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6070292PMC
July 2018

Epilepsy-associated levels of perceived stigma, their associations with treatment, and related factors: A cross-sectional study in urban and rural areas in Ecuador.

Epilepsy Behav 2017 03 19;68:71-77. Epub 2017 Jan 19.

INSERM, U1094, Tropical Neuroepidemiology, Limoges, France; Univ. Limoges, UMR-S 1094, Tropical Neuroepidemiology, Institute of Neuroepidemiology and Tropical Neurology, CNRS FR 3503 GEIST, F-87000 Limoges, France; CHU Limoges, CEBIMER, Limoges F-87000, France. Electronic address:

Background: Epilepsy is felt to be a stigmatizing condition. Stigma has been considered one of the major factors contributing to the burden of epilepsy and to the treatment gap. Stigma has a negative effect on the management of people with epilepsy (PWE). Furthermore, lack of information and inappropriate beliefs are still the factors that most contribute to stigma and discrimination. In this study, we assessed the level of perceived stigma in urban and rural areas and we report their association with in antiepileptic drug (AED) use, effects on seeking medical care, and stigma-associated factors.

Methods: A cross-sectional study in urban and rural areas in Ecuador from January 2015 until May 2016. People with a confirmed diagnosis of epilepsy were included using three sources of information. The survey was implemented through a questionnaire to determine perceived stigma and evaluate the factors associated. The perceived stigma was measured using the revised Jacoby's stigma scale to detect differences in levels of stigmatization. Access to treatment was evaluated through self-report of AED use, and attainment of medical care and stigma-associated factors were assessed. Furthermore, a multivariate analysis adjusted for possible confounders was performed using stigma as the outcome variable.

Results: A total of 243 PWE were interviewed, 65.8% reported feeling stigmatized and 39.1% reported a high stigmatized level. We found a significant difference in high stigma perception in the urban area compared to the rural area. However, the lack of use of AEDs was significantly higher in the rural areas. No significant correlation was found between use of AEDs and the levels of perceived stigma. PWE who did not talk about their condition and those who did not feel well informed about their epilepsy had significantly higher perceived stigma levels. Additionally, the multivariate analysis demonstrated that area, educational level, type of seizure, talk about epilepsy, and information were associated with perceived stigma.

Conclusion: The stigma perception was relevant in all PWE. We found a higher stigma level perception in the urban compared to rural area. Moreover, the lack of treatment was a serious problem mainly in rural areas. Even though we did not find that perceived stigma was associated with AED use, our study pointed out the influence of educational level and information related to stigmatization. Consequently, a coordinated effort to reduce stigma should include strategies focused on PWE education and information about their condition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yebeh.2016.12.026DOI Listing
March 2017