Prevalence and causes of seizures at the time of diagnosis of probable Alzheimer's disease

Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2006;22(2):121-4. doi: 10.1159/000093664. Epub 2006 May 29.


Background/aims: To investigate the frequency of epilepsy at the time of diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Methods: Observational study, Cognitive Function Clinic population, over a 6-year period (2000-2005 inclusive).

Results: In a cohort of 177 patients with newly diagnosed clinically probable AD, 12 (6.8%) had a history of seizure disorder and/or were using anti-epileptic medications at the time of diagnosis. In 6 of these cases (3.4%), seizure onset was approximately concurrent with the onset of cognitive decline, and no symptomatic or provoking factor for seizures other than AD was identified.

Conclusion: Although epileptic seizures are more common later in the course of AD, nonetheless they may accompany the onset of, and be symptomatic of, the disease, perhaps reflecting a shared pathogenesis.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / complications*
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Seizures / complications*
  • Seizures / epidemiology
  • Seizures / etiology*


  • Anticonvulsants