Epidemiology and characterization of seizures in a pedigreed baboon colony

C. Ákos Szabó, Koyle D. Knape, M. Michelle Leland, Daniel J. Cwikla, Sarah Williams-Blangero, Jeff T. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


This study evaluated the incidence, prevalence, and clinical features of seizures in a pedigreed captive colony of baboons. The association of seizures with subspecies, age, sex, and various clinical features was assessed. Records for 1527 captive, pedigreed baboons were reviewed, and 3389 events were identified in 1098 baboons. Of these events, 1537 (45%) represented witnessed seizures, whereas the remaining 1852 presented with craniofacial trauma or episodic changes in behavior that were suggestive, but not diagnostic, of seizure activity. Seizures were generalized myoclonic or tonic-clonic, with two thirds of the events witnessed in the morning. Seizure onset occurred in adolescence (age, 5 y), with an average of 3 seizures in a lifetime. The incidence and prevalence of seizures were 2.5% and 26%, respectively, whereas the prevalence of recurrent seizures (that is, epilepsy) was 15%. Seizures were more prevalent in male baboons, which tended to present with earlier onset and more seizures over a lifetime than did female baboons. Seizures were equally distributed between the subspecies; age of onset and seizure recurrences did not differ significantly between subspecies. Clinical features including age of onset, characteristics, and diurnal presentation of seizures in baboons suggested similarities to juvenile myoclonic epilepsy in humans. Facial trauma may be useful marker for epilepsy in baboons, but its specificity should be characterized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-538
Number of pages4
JournalComparative medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Veterinary


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