A diagnosis of epilepsy can have a significant impact on anyone’s life. However, seizure experiences can have an even greater impact on the lifestyle, safety and health of older people.
Learning to recognize the early signs and symptoms of epilepsy can help keep you safe and avoid medical emergencies that are often the result of seizures.
If you are unsure how to spot the early signs of epilepsy, consulting a specialist neurologist is your first contact. However, the guide below can help.
Let’s dive in!
What You Need to Know About Epilepsy in Older Adults
Epilepsy is thought to be one of the nearly one third of the diseases, after stroke and dementia. most common neurological disorders in the elderly. Additionally, epilepsy can be a complication of brain damage from falls, stroke, and brain tumors, so the incidence of this condition increases with age.
However, despite how common the condition is, there are still some serious challenges in treating it. First, older people find it difficult to balance epilepsy treatment with the other medications they take and cannot live a seizure-free life.
In addition, some antiepileptic drugs are associated with side effects that worsen existing conditions, such as decreased bone density.
Today, more than 50% of new-onset seizures occur in older people, and 25% to 40% of them have no apparent cause (etiology) such as a brain tumor or brain injury. In addition, adults aged 65 years and older are the fastest growing segment of epilepsy patients in the United States, with the majority reporting experiencing symptoms that differ significantly from epilepsy characteristics of young adults. increase.
These factors make it difficult for older people and caregivers to diagnose epilepsy in older people. This is especially true in nursing homes and nursing homes where neurologists may not be present and new-onset seizures can be mistaken for symptoms of dementia.
If you suspect a seizure, do not hesitate to consult an experienced neurologist.Finding the right treatment for you is the key to life Safe, active and fulfilling retirement with epilepsy.
The most common answer to “What is epilepsy?” is a “seizure disorder.” But while this definition is somewhat correct, it tells us nothing about the type, intensity, or frequency of seizures a person may be experiencing.
To efficiently identify signs of new-onset epilepsy in older adults, it is important to begin by examining different types of seizures. These are categorized as follows:
- Parts of the brain affected (generalized and partial seizures)
- Symptoms they cause (tonic-clonic, tonic, clonic, myoclonic, atonic, etc.)
In older people, seizures may look different and often cause subtle and difficult-to-diagnose symptoms, such as:
- interrupted consciousness
- hear or feel a heightened sensation
signs of seizure
Once you have a better understanding of what epileptic seizures look like in older adults, you should consider educating yourself on the signs and symptoms that characterize the next seizure. It can be used to prevent seizures or to move to a safer location to reduce the risk of emergencies and falls.
early warning signs
Early warning signs, often called prodromal symptoms, usually occur hours or days before the seizure itself and appear in about 20-30% of people with epilepsy.
What a person sees and feels during this stage is unique, but symptoms often associated with the prodromal stage include anxiety, irritability, headaches, tremors, confusion, and mood swings.
late warning sign
Hours or minutes before an attack occurs, people may experience what is called an “aura.” Auras are mild partial seizures that can warn of an approaching more severe seizure.
Although auras are characterized by subjective emotions, the most common symptoms they produce include sudden euphoria or panic, unusual tastes, smells, sounds, a feeling of “rising” in the stomach, and body parts. stiffness and visual impairment. Obstruction, or déjà vu.
Partnering with an expert neurologist
If you or your loved one suspects you have epilepsy, see a specialist neurologist first. After all, with proper treatment, more than 70% of him with epilepsy can live a healthy, seizure-free life.
What is epilepsy? health,
What are the signs that the development of epilepsy may occur?
warning signs of seizures,
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