“Senior moments” could be symptoms of epilepsy

It may come as a surprise that the fastest growing population in America to develop epilepsy is 65 and older. According to the National Council on the Aging (NCOA, www.ncoa.org), people can develop epilepsy as they age. The greatest number of newly diagnosed cases each year, with the exception of young children, occurs in older people.

According to the NCOA, knowing the difference between a “senior moment” and a serious disease such as epilepsy is critical. Epilepsy can be difficult to diagnose, and as a result, it is often misdiagnosed, mistreated, or under treated. Because epilepsy can present itself differently in older people, it can also be confused with the normal signs of aging. Epilepsy is most often associated with seizures causing convulsions, but it can also present in more subtle but potentially dangerous symptoms, such as hearing unusual sounds, smelling unusual scents, blurred vision, or sudden anxiety. These subtle symptoms have a tendency to be overlooked. If you are experiencing subtle or unusual symptoms, we urge you to contact your physician immediately.

Although there are a number of effective therapies for treating epilepsy, treating the senior population can pose a special challenge because many seniors take multiple medications simultaneously. Check back next week for a post about the sensitivities of taking antiepileptic drugs with other prescription medications. www.floridaneuroscience.com/blog/

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