Possible role of trace elements in epilepsy and febrile seizures: a meta-analysis

Saghazadeh A1
Mahmoudi M2
Meysamie A1
Gharedaghi M1
Zamponi GW1
Rezaei N1

Seizures are among the most common causes of apparent life-threatening events. There are discrepancies among the published reports on the correlation between epilepsy/febrile seizures and deficiency or overload of trace elements. The objective of this review and meta-analysis was to examine the present knowledge on the concentrations of the most investigated trace metals, including zinc, copper, selenium, and magnesium, in patients with epilepsy and febrile seizures. The PubMed and Scopus databases were searched to identify case-control studies that compared the concentration of zinc, copper, magnesium, and selenium in serum, hair, or cerebrospinal fluid between patients with epilepsy/febrile seizures and controls. A total of 60 articles were included in the present study (40 pertaining to epilepsy and 25 pertaining to febrile seizures). The serum concentration of zinc in nontreated patients with epilepsy was significantly higher than in controls (P = 0.034). There were significantly reduced serum concentrations of zinc (P = 0.018) and selenium (P = 0.012) in patients with febrile seizures compared with controls. The concentrations of copper, magnesium, and zinc were all significantly altered in patients with epilepsy who received antiepileptic drugs compared with untreated patients with epilepsy. Designing treatments to selectively restore zinc levels may be a strategy for treating patients with epilepsy. It is still unclear whether these ions are causal to, or a cofactor in, the development of epilepsy. Knowledge of the effects of various antiepileptic drugs ontrace element homeostasis could potentially be used to effectively guide appropriate therapeutic strategies in the future.


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