Seizures in Alzheimer's disease: clinicopathologic study
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New-onset epileptic seizures occur in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), but the nature and underlying reasons for these seizures are unclear. We identified new-onset, nonsymptomatic seizures in 77 (17%) of 446 patients with uncomplicated, definite AD on autopsy. Among these seizure patients, 69 had generalized tonic-clonic seizures, and 55 had less than three total seizures. The seizure patients had a younger age of dementia onset than did the remaining AD patients; however, at seizure onset, they averaged 6.8 years into their AD and had advanced dementia. When further compared to 77 AD controls, matched for age of onset and duration, the seizure patients did not differ on medical illnesses, amount of medications, and degree of focal neuropathology. We conclude that a few unprovoked generalized seizures frequently occur late in the course of AD, and that AD patients with a younger age of dementia onset are particularly susceptible to seizures.
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