Descriptive epidemiology of some rare neurological diseases in Benghazi, Libya.

Original article


Radhakrishnan K, Thacker AK, Maloo JC, Gerryo SE, Mousa ME.

Department of Medicine, Arab Medical University, Benghazi, Libya.

Neuroepidemiology. 1988;7(3):159-64.


During a 4-year study period, January 1983 to December 1986, 24 patients (18 index cases) with spinal muscular atrophy (hereditary motor neuropathy, HMN), 9 with myasthenia gravis (MG), 6 with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), and 5 with subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) were diagnosed in Benghazi. The HMN group comprised 6 acute infantile, 12 chronic childhood, and 3 each with adult-onset proximal, and distal forms of the disease. The crude average annual incidence of acute infantile HMN was 0.3/100,000 total population and 1/12,500 births in Benghazi. The crude prevalence rates of chronic childhood, adult-onset proximal, and distal types of HMN were 2.3, 0.6 and 0.6/100,000, respectively. The larger family size and the high rate of consanguineous marriages contribute to the high frequency of HMN in the study area. Distal HMN constituted 12.5% of the total cases. The adjusted average incidence of MG was 4.4/million/year, 2.1 for males and 6.8 for females. The female:male incidence ratio was 3.2:1. The crude average annual incidence rates/million inhabitants for PSP asnd SSPE were 3 and 2.4, respectively. The frequency of occurrence of SSPE among the subtropical Arab community under investigation is comparable with other surveys from the Middle East and Mediterranean region.

Keywords: Descriptive epidemiology of some rare neurological diseases in Benghazi, Libya.