University of Saskatchewan researchers have discovered that the incidence of epilepsy in the indigenous population is twice that of non-indigenous Canadians. The team, led by Dr. Jose Tellez-Zenteno, found that the Canadian national incidence rate is 62 new cases of epilepsy per 100 thousands people per year. For self-identified First Nations patients, the rate is 122 per 100 thousand. The exact reason for the different in rates is unknown. Tellez-Zenteno says, “Some other studies have shown higher rates of traumatic brain injury in Indigenous populations.” He says head trauma is correlated with epilepsy so they think that’s one of the factors. Dr. Lizbeth Hernandez-Ronquillo, first author on the paper says, “Epilepsy is the most common neurological condition worldwide, but there are numerous gaps in knowledge.” Over the period of the study, the incidence of epilepsy was actually in decline in Canada, as it is in other countries with universal healthcare. In countries without universal healthcare, the rate is increasing. The study was published today (thurs) in Seizure: European Journal of Epilepsy.