John Libbey Eurotext

Gériatrie et Psychologie Neuropsychiatrie du Vieillissement


Contribution of geriatric model to the management of an epileptic seizure or epilepsy Volume 17, supplement 1, Mars 2019


  • Figure 1
1 Centre de gériatrie, Pavillon Bottard et CMRR Paris-Sud, Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, AP-HP, Paris, France
2 DHU FAST, Sorbonne-Université, Paris, France
3 UMR8256, CNRS, Paris, France
* Tirés à part

Epileptic seizures and epilepsy appear frequent in the elderly. The diagnosis is often more difficult and therapeutic decisions are often debated. In this context, the implementation of a rigorous analysis and reasoning to correctly determine the various components at the origin of the epileptic seizure is fundamental. Some data are in favor of a decrease of the epileptogenic threshold with advancing age. But, this is in no way sufficient to account for the occurrence of a seizure. It is necessary to add to aging factor a chronic pathology responsible for brain lesions (micro or macroscopic: stroke, Alzheimer's disease, brain tumors...) and/or acute aggression (trauma, central nervous system infection, metabolic or toxic disorders...) to trigger a seizure. It is notable that an association of some mild brain lesions and a weak metabolic disturbance could trigger a seizure. In these cases, the probability of trigger a new seizure with another mild precipitant factor appears very high. This analysis is necessary and particularly useful in these multi-pathological patients. It also makes it easier to decide whether to start antiepileptic treatment. In case of a triggering factor such as hyponatremia, for example, in the absence of associated underlying lesions, it seems legitimate not to start treatment at the first epileptic seizure. On the other hand, if hyponatremia (often less deep than in the previous case) is associated with sequel of stroke or Alzheimer's disease, it seems reasonable to start treatment quickly.