Epilepsy in the Elderly

Ann Johnston; Phil EM Smith


Expert Rev Neurother. 2010;10(12):1899-1910. 

In This Article

Five-year View

To date, epilepsy in the elderly has received little research attention. However, with emerging evidence to support the efficacy of newer AEDs, and with increasing research focus on well-phenotyped and -characterized epilepsy cohorts, it is likely that epilepsy in older people will receive greater attention and improved clinical outcomes. The SANAD study provided the evidence basis for current prescribing practices at all ages,[49,50] and with further funding and resources, equivalent long-term pragmatic studies and subsequent subgroup analysis will provide further information on some of the newer AEDs, especially in special groups such as the elderly. Greater effort is required to recruit and maintain elderly patients into research, especially into drug trials, in order to aid the understanding of adverse events and drug interactions. We need better understanding of the long-term adverse effects of AEDs, such as on bone health; only then can evidence-based clinical guidelines be developed and implemented. As the population continues to age, the demand on existing resources for managing epilepsy and suspected seizures will increase, and the wisdom of investing in research in this field should become increasingly apparent.


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