John Libbey Eurotext

Epilepsy in middle-aged and elderly people: a three-year observation Volume 7, numéro 2, June 2005

Department of Neurology, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland

An analysis of the medical documentation and investigation of 130 cases of epilepsy diagnosed in a group of people over 50 years of age (average: 65.4 years) revealed that the most common type of seizure in the group studied was partial (66.2%), followed by seizures with secondary generalization (33.8%). Epilepsy was caused by cerebrovascular disease (50.8%) considerably more often in patients over 74 years of age, craniocerebral trauma in patients addicted to alcohol (13.1%), especially those under 65 years of age, primary or metastatic neoplastic disease (10.7%), and others. The authors wish to draw attention to the leukoaraiosis factor, which might be the proepileptogenic cause of epilepsy recognized in the group of patients over 74 years of age (56.5%) and is much more frequent in this group than in the group of patients under 65 years of age (1.6%). Moreover, some drugs, such as L-dopa and Baclofen, might have been related to the epileptic seizures. In 29 patients (22.3%) the definite cause of late-onset epilepsy was unknown. The authors suggest in such cases, both follow – up tomographic examination and careful clinical examinations. In the study group of patients with initially unknown seizure etiology, some diseases, such as cerebral tumor or colon and pancreatic neoplasm, were diagnosed during follow-up examination. These processes were revealed several months after the first epileptic seizure.