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02/02/2016

Researchers urge regular vitamin D monitoring of children with epilepsy

A new study has found that children with epilepsy may be more likely to have a vitamin D deficiency.

The research, conducted by South Korea’s Dankook University Hospital and published in the Annals of Paediatric Endocrinology & Metabolism, studied vitamin D levels in a group of 198 children with epilepsy who were taking antiepileptic drugs.

Of the group, a total of 124 – or 62.6 per cent  – 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 in vitamin D levels 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. 

Vitamin D deficiency is common in people who do not get enough sun exposure and can cause fatigue, aches and pains, and frequent infections.