Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Average age of our population is steadily increasing. This demographic change poses major challenges in the medical care of the population; especially seizure disorders in the elderly. Seizures are frequently encountered in the elderly due to many medical/surgical diseases common in that age-group as well as the treatment of these conditions. Incidence and prevalence of seizures increases with increasing age. Stroke, brain tumors, head injury and various metabolic disorders which are frequent in the elderly enhances the occurrence of seizures in them. About 35% of all seizures in persons above 75 years of age present with status epilepticus often with increased mortality. Frequency of seizures in the acute stroke may be 12-15%, while the risk of epilepsy may be as high as 30%. Age and risk factors of stroke are also risk factors for epilepsy in the elderly. Differentiation of large number of non epileptic conditions from seizure and epilepsy is a difficult task. Though we have listed some of the conditions, the list is not all inclusive. Electroencephalography (EEG) is less sensitive and specific than imaging studies. Cerebral atrophy and white matter changes are common in elderly; the pathological significance in seizures is not understood. Positron emission tomography (PET) and Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) give functional information in addition. The information given below will help us understanding the problem of seizure in the elderly.