Epileptic activity in Alzheimer’s disease: causes and clinical relevance

The Lancet Neurology
Volume 16, No. 4, p311–322, April 2017

Dr Keith A Vossel, MD, Maria C Tartaglia, MD, Haakon B Nygaard, MD, Adam Z Zeman, FRCP, Bruce L Miller, MD



Epileptic activity is frequently associated with Alzheimer’s disease; this association has therapeutic implications, because epileptic activity can occur at early disease stages and might contribute to pathogenesis. In clinical practice, seizures in patients with Alzheimer’s disease can easily go unrecognised because they usually present as non-motor seizures, and can overlap with other symptoms of the disease. In patients with Alzheimer’s disease, seizures can hasten cognitive decline, highlighting the clinical relevance of early recognition and treatment. Some evidence indicates that subclinical epileptiform activity in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, detected by extended neurophysiological monitoring, can also lead to accelerated cognitive decline.


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