Seizures are very common among the elderly. It is estimated that more than 60,000 new cases of epilepsy occur every year in Americans over 65 years of age. In fact, the elderly represent the most rapidly growing population group with epilepsy.

Common causes include after-effects of stroke or cardio-vascular events, tumors and degenerative disorders.

Diagnosing epilepsy in the elderly can be difficult because the manifestations of seizures can be subtle or unusual. Epilepsy in this age group increases the risk of falls, trauma and other complications, and may lead to loss of independence. Yet, epilepsy in the elderly is usually quite treatable when properly recognized and managed. Most of our senior patients with epilepsy respond well to antiepileptic drugs, which are often prescribed in low doses. Our team of physicians has gained many years of expertise in the identification and treatment of seizures in the elderly.

Lastly, the staff of the Section of Adult Epilepsy performs clinical and translational research to improve our understanding and treatment of epilepsy, and to train world-class academic epileptologists, clinical neurophysiologists, educators, and researchers.

Reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional.

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