Alzheimer’s disease and antiepileptic medication
According to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland there is an increased risk of stroke among people with Alzheimer’s who are being treated with antiepileptic drugs. The incidence of an epilepsy diagnosis is highest in those who are young or in those aged over 65. Part of the reason for this increase in the older population is that there is an increasing likelihood of disease and trauma which may cause epilepsy to develop. For instance, brain tumours, stroke, cardio-vascular disease and indeed, Alzheimer’s disease may all cause epilepsy.
Previous research had found that people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease use antiepileptic drugs more often than persons without Alzheimer’s disease, and the difference was not explained by the presence, or not, of epilepsy.
The present findings indicate that as people with Alzheimer’s disease are particularly susceptible to adverse events, the use of antiepileptic drugs for other indications than epilepsy or neuropathic pain should be carefully considered in this vulnerable population.
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