Alzheimer essentially not follow Seizures
Although seizures are more likely in people with Alzheimer disease (AD) than in the general population, they are not a common feature of AD, new research indicates.
In a study, researchers found that only about 1.5% of patients with AD developed seizures over an average of 3.7 years. "The observed incidence corresponds to less than 1 patient with a seizure for every 200 patients with AD followed up over the course of 1 year," they point out in the Archives of Neurology this month.
And while earlier reports suggested that seizures occur in more advanced stages of the disease, there was no association in the current study between seizures and disease duration or brain function.
In the study, Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas, from Columbia University Medical Center, New York, and colleagues followed 453 patients from the early stages of AD for up to 14 years (average, 3.7 years). The patients were in generally good health, well educated and mostly white. Their average age at the outset was 74 years.
During follow-up, 7 patients (1.5%) developed seizures.
The overall incidence of seizures was low, the researchers report, although significantly higher than expected for unprovoked seizures in age-matched people in the general population.
According to the investigators, only younger age was associated with higher seizure risk.
Scarmeas and colleagues suggest that younger patients with AD may have more aggressive disease, or may be more likely to have a clinical episode recognized.
Alternatively, the younger brain may be more susceptible to seizures.
Several scientist studies suggested: Alzheimer's patients to develop epilepsy
Scientists in Scotland say they may have found what causes some Alzheimer's patients to develop epilepsy.
The amyloid protein, which forms in clumps in patients' brains, makes nerve cells too sensitive and prone to seizures, tests in mice suggest.
The cells short-circuit and fire too many electrical signals, the Journal of Neuroscience reports.
If true in humans too, which the experts say is likely, it may mean some patients will need different drugs.
Neil Hunt, of the Alzheimer's Society, said: "These seizures can be extremely distressing for people with dementia and their families.
Nearly one third of Alzheimer’s patients suffer from epileptic seizures. Unfortunately the medications of Alzheimer’s could trigger seizures. On the contrary the drugs that can control these seizures may also worsen the Alzheimer’s symptoms. This new study may enable researchers to develop and design different drugs which can treat both the disease and the seizures. The side effects of drugs could be minimized as well.
This scientific research may actually unlock the cellular mechanism, which could be the missing link between Alzheimer’s and seizures. Any new understanding brings a new hope of treatment.
"This research enhances our understanding of the relationship between epilepsy and dementia." ...More details
Previous case study at University of California, San Francisco
The families of the five million Alzheimer's disease sufferers in the U.S. are all too familiar with the erratic neurodegenerative disorder. "Mom seemed almost like herself this morning and then she drifted away form me," recounts senior investigator Lennart Mucke, describing a conversation with a patient's daughters.
The root of these heart-wrenching fluctuations between cognizance and confusion has eluded scientists for years. But Mucke, director of the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease at the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues believe they may finally have pinpointed the cause of these puzzling personality twists as well as other cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer's: petite mal (nonconvulsive) seizures similar to those exhibited in some types of epilepsy. More Details ...