We fight to improve the lives
of everyone affected by epilepsy

Warning message

This article was published in July 2013. The information may be out of date. Please check our epilepsy information or our site A-Z.

Epilepsy and Alzheimer's leads to earlier cognitive decline

31 Jul 2013

A study has reported that people with epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease developed decreased thinking abilities (cognitive decline) faster than those without epilepsy.

The study was made between 2007 and 2012. It included 54 people. ‘Epileptic activity associated with Alzheimer’s disease deserves increased attention because it has a harmful impact on these patients, can easily go unrecognized and untreated, and may reflect pathogenic processes that also contribute to other aspects of the illness,’ researchers wrote.

The participants of the study had epilepsy and:

  • Mild cognitive impairment, or
  • Alzheimer’s disease.

The results of the study showed that people with mild cognitive impairment and epilepsy started having symptoms of cognitive decline up to 6.8 years earlier than those without. Participants with epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease had symptoms of cognitive decline 5.5 years earlier than those without epilepsy.

The study took place at the Memory and Aging Centre, University of California, San Francisco, US.

‘These findings are important because they suggest epileptic activity as a new target for therapy in Alzheimer’s disease,’ said Keith A. Vossel, MD, MSc, assistant professor at the University of California. ‘By treating seizures we may be counteracting some of the symptoms and, possibly, even some of the disease-promoting mechanisms at work in this condition.’

More on epilepsy and memory

More on developing epilepsy in later life

There are no comments yet. Be the first to comment...

Question about your epilepsy?

Your question will be sent to our helpline advisors.

Have a comment about this page?

All comments are reviewed by a moderator before publishing. Comments will be edited or deleted if they are offensive, libellous, slanderous, abusive, commercial or irrelevant.

We ask for your email when you make a comment through this website. This means that we can let you know directly that we have replied to you. By making a comment through the website, you allow us to use the comment in our publicity without using your name. If we would like to use your name, we will email you to get your permission.

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
20 + 0 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.