April 18, 2022

Late-Onset Epilepsy and the Risk of Dementia: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Abstract found in PubMed

Background: Patients with dementia have higher risk of epilepsy. However, it remains not comprehensively evaluated if late-onset epilepsy (LOE) is associated with higher risk of dementia. We, therefore, performed a meta-analysis to systematically evaluate the association.

Methods: Relevant cohort studies were identified by search of electronic databases including PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science. A randomized-effect model incorporating the possible between-study heterogeneity was used to pool the results.

Results: Overall, seven cohort studies including 873,438 adults were included, and 16,036 (1.8%) of them had LOE. With a mean follow-up duration of 8.7 years, 33,727 of them were diagnosed as dementia. Pooled results showed that LOE was associated with a higher risk of dementia (risk ratio [RR] 2.39, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.04-2.81, p < 0.001, I2 = 67%). Results of subgroup analysis showed that the association between LOE and the risk of dementia was stronger in hospital-derived participants (RR 4.23, 95% CI 2.67-6.70, p < 0.001) than that in community-derived population (RR 2.25, 95% CI 1.93-2.63, p < 0.001; p for subgroup difference = 0.01). Pooled results of three studies showed that LOE was associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease (RR 2.35, 95% CI 1.08-5.08, p = 0.03, I2 = 85%). One study suggested a significant association between LOE and risk of vascular dementia (RR 2.0, 95% CI 1.77-2.26, p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Evidence from cohort studies suggests that LOE may be a risk factor of dementia.