Aging Increases Incidence of Epileptic Seizures- New Study

in environment, medicine

Aging increases incidence of epileptic seizures.  A new study from Duke finds that repeated acute seizures lead to higher chance of chronic seizures in the aged individuals when compared to young adults.  This clearly demonstrates that aging increases disease burdens and as our population ages, we need to be ready to tackle new challenges.

The news story published in the online science news magazine was based on a study that appeared in the February issue of the professional journal Aging and Disease.

According to the news story acute seizures in the elderly population have much more devastating consequences than the effects of similar seizures in the young adult population.

"This finding shows that the aged population has an increased tendency for developing chronic epilepsy following an episode of acute seizures, and the chronic epilepsy resulting from acute seizures is much severe in the aged than in the young adult population", Dr. Ashok K. Shetty, a professor at the Duke University Medical Center's Division of Neurosurgery and the senior author of this study told the online science news publication Dr. B. Hattiangady and Dr. R. Kuruba, were co-authors of this study.

Using a rat model of status epilepticus (continuous unremitting seizure for prolonged period) and acute seizures, this study demonstrated that three hours of seizure activity in aged animals resulted in a much severe loss of neurons in the hippocampus, in comparison to young adult animals. The hippocampus is a region of the brain that is: (i) important for functions such as learning, memory and mood; (ii) most vulnerable to seizure-induced neuron loss; and (iii) believed to be the site of spontaneous seizure generation in temporal lobe epilepsy. Temporal lobe epilepsy, one of the most common types of epilepsy, evolves mostly after acute seizures resulting from stroke, head injury and infections.

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