The prevalence of epilepsy in Africa could be reduced by controlling parasitic diseases, researchers from Oxford University have found.

Their study was the largest in sub-Saharan Africa to date of epilepsy, which is one of the most common neurological conditions worldwide.

It screened 586,607 people from Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania and Ghana, and identified 1,711 who were diagnosed as having active convulsive epilepsy.

The researchers found that adults who had been exposed to parasitic diseases were up to three times more likely to have epilepsy than those who had not.