June 18, 2019

When It Looks Like Dementia But Isn’t: Epilepsy Not Just a “Children’s Disease”

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Harriet and Guy Bradley on June 4, 2019. Photo by Mark Cornelison | UKphoto

Last September, Guy Bradley began having episodes of severe and sudden confusion with night sweats and nausea.

“He’d wake up and not know where he was or what day it was,” said his wife, Harriet.

Also troubling: the 69-year old suddenly could not find his way around the golf course he’d played all his adult life.

With each of the four episodes, Harriet and Guy would head to the closest emergency room. Each time, the diagnosis was scary – and yet didn’t quite fit.

Dr. Terry O’Neill, Guy’s UK primary care physician, ordered an EEG to look at the electrical activity in Guy’s brain.  The next day, Guy and Harriet met with neuropsychologist Lisa Koehl, Ph.D., for a neurodiagnostic consultation. Koehl referred Guy to epileptologist Dr. Ima Ebong at KNI, who prescribed anti-seizure medications. KNI is certified by the NAEC as a Level 4 Epilepsy Center, which means patients have access to all the latest treatments, medical and surgical, with a higher degree of coordination among disciplines.

“KNI has the perfect integration of multiple specialties that’s truly unique in Lexington,” Ebong said.

Ebong says that seizures in most elderly patients can be controlled with anti-seizure medications, although this demographic needs careful attention to dosing, particularly in light of potential interactions with other prescribed medicines (almost 40 percent of patients aged 65+ take five or more medications).

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