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Mobile phones and seizures: drug-resistant epilepsy is less common in mobile-phone-using patients


Background Epilepsy is a condition where patients have seizures due to abnormal nerve impulses in the brain. The effect of mobile phone radiation on patients with seizures is not known.

Objective To compare the seizure profile of patients not using mobile phones with that of their peers using mobile phones.

Methods In a retrospective cohort study performed at the neurology outpatient department of Guntur Medical College Hospital, Guntur, India from September 2014 to September 2015, we included 178 consecutive epileptic patients aged 16–65 years, who had had seizure disorder for 1 year or more. On the basis of their possession and usage of mobile phones, patients were divided into three groups: no mobile group (NMG), home mobile group (HMG) and personal mobile group (PMG). We obtained data on seizure frequency and recorded details of mobile phone usage and their antiepileptic drug (AED) treatment.

Results 107 NMG, 3 HMG and 68 PMG patients were finalised for the analysis. There was no significant difference in the number of seizures in the past year between the three groups. The PMG (3.7%) contained a clinically significant lower proportion of patients with drug-resistant epilepsy than the NMG (28.2%). Patients with drug-responsive epilepsy were 7.4 (95% CI 1.4 to 39.9) (p=0.01) times more likely to be found in the PMG than in the NMG after adjustment for differences in sex and occupation.

Conclusions Although the experimental data remain inconclusive, our clinical study suggests that patients who use mobile phones are less likely to have drug-resistant epilepsy.

  • Mobile phones
  • seizures
  • drug resistant epilepsy
  • mobile phone radiation
  • GSM

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