Epilepsy in the elderly: Unique challenges in an increasingly prevalent population

Publication date: January 2020Source: Epilepsy &Behavior, Volume 102Author(s): Nastasija Lezaic, Josée Roussy, Hélène Masson, Nathalie Jetté, Mark Robert KeezerAbstractElderly individuals (aged at least 60 or 65 years) represent a rapidly growing segment of the population. The incidence and prevalence of epilepsy is higher in this age group than in any other. Diagnosing epilepsy in the elderly can be challenging because the causes and clinical manifestations of seizures often differ as compared with younger individuals. Particular differential diagnoses, such as syncope and amyloid spells, are commonly encountered in the elderly population. A diagnosis of epilepsy has important implications in the older adult, many of which already present a variety of concomitant complex medical problems, such as cognitive impairment, comorbid cerebrovascular disease, and frailty. The treatment of epilepsy in the elderly is complicated by a variety of factors related to aging, including physiological changes, medical comorbidities, and polypharmacy. In this narrative review, we will address the descriptive epidemiology, clinical presentation, differential diagnosis, diagnostic evaluation, treatment, and prognosis of epilepsy in the elderly individual.
Source: Epilepsy and Behavior - Category: Neurology Source Type: research

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