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Epilepsy can be dangerous for people of all ages, but it can be lethal for seniors who are over 65 years old. To be precise, the elderly who have epilepsy have a mortality rate three times higher than young people with the same disorder. Below we will list the top 5 causes of epilepsy in older adults.


One of the most common causes of epilepsy in seniors are strokes. The epilepsy seizures will occur in the first year after a senior experiences a stroke. This disorder is more likely to happen if the type of stroke is hemorrhagic rather than ischemic. The risk of strokes in seniors can be reduced if they lead a healthy life and avoid smoking, foods rich in fats, and keep an exercise regimen.

Neurodegenerative Diseases

Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases are causing between 10 and 20 percent of epilepsy cases in older adults. Alzheimer’s disease is capable of altering brain structure in a manner that it starts producing these seizures.

Top 5 causes of epilepsy in older adults 1
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Seniors that live through a specific type of trauma can start having epilepsy seizures as the aftermath of it. It usually happens if the elderly adult has a head injury, which is often caused by falls.

Psychiatric Illness

The connection between psychiatric illnesses and epilepsy seizures is not entirely clear, even to doctors. But patients that have some psychiatric conditions are more prone to having epilepsy. Older adults who suffer from depression or anxiety often experience epilepsy. Luckily these conditions can be treated, and seniors can avoid having multiple issues.

Other Causes

Acute seizures are not considered as epilepsy, but they can be caused by various issues. Epilepsy can happen as a consequence of infections, misused medications, or electrolyte imbalance. If your loved ones have seizures that can’t be tracked to any previous medical problem, they should pay a visit to a doctor.

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