Deficiency of selenium and zinc as a causative factor for idiopathic intractable epilepsy

Epilepsy Research, 02/04/2013

The purpose of the study was to evaluate the possible associations between trace elements and idiopathic intractable epilepsy (IIE) by comparing the levels of Selenium (Se), zinc (Zn), and copper (Cu) between patients with IIE and healthy children. The authors believe that this study presents the first reports of decreased levels of Se and Zn in patients with IIE. These results may provide new insights for delineating the etiological basis of IIE and its potential therapeutic options.


  • The study was designed as a case–control study with 70 IIE patients and 60 healthy children who were matched for age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.
  • The levels of serum Se, Zn, and Cu were measured with an atomic absorption spectrophotometer.
  • The results were statistically analyzed with SPSS version 16.0.


  • The found that the patients with IIE had significantly decreased levels of serum Se and Zn compared to those of the control group (p<0.05).

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