Children with epilepsy may be more likely to experience a deficiency in vitamin D, according to a new study.
The research, conducted by South Korea’s Dankook University Hospital and published in the Annals of Paediatric Endocrinology & Metabolism, evaluated vitamin D status in a group of 198 children with epilepsy who were taking antiepileptic drugs.
Of the group, a total of 124 – or 62.6%  – were shown to have a vitamin D deficiency, and the problem was more prevalent during the winter and spring months, and in those aged over 12 years.
Of the 57 subjects who were not vitamin D deficient at the time of initial testing, 47 became deficient during the follow-up period (just over five years). The largest declines were linked to a longer period of medication, decreased mobility and the presence of underlying brain abnormalities.
The researchers concluded that this study emphasises the importance of regular vitamin D monitoring in children who are taking antiepileptic drugs, particularly when a) they are medicated for longer periods, b) an abnormality shows up on MRI imaging, c) they have other underlying abnormalities and d) they have problems with mobility.
Vitamin D deficiency problems are common in people who do not get enough sun exposure and they can cause fatigue, aches and pains, and frequent infections.
Posted by Anne Brown
Edited by Epilepsy Research UK
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