Seizures Late in Life Can Signal Alzheimer's

Tuesday, 09 Jul 2013 03:15 PM

By Nick Tate

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Seizures later in life may be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease, a new study suggests.
 
The study, published in the journal JAMA Neurology, suggests Alzheimer’s may increase the risk of seizures that occur far earlier than other symptoms of the disease and may, in fact, offer an early sign of the condition — when treatments can be most effective.
 
"Epileptic activity associated with Alzheimer disease (AD) deserves increased attention because it has a harmful impact on these patients, can easily go unrecognized and untreated, and may reflect pathogenic processes that also contribute to other aspects of the illness," said the researchers, led by Keith A. Vossel, M.D., of the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, San Francisco.
 
The study, which included 54 patients with epilepsy and other seizure disorders, found those who experiences seizures experienced cognitive declines nearly seven years earlier than those who didn’t.
 
"Careful identification and treatment of epilepsy in such patients may improve their clinical course,"  the researchers concluded.
 
This study was funded, in part, by the National Institutes of Health.

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