Episode #137 - Older Adults and Epilepsy: the Causes, the Signs, and the Treatments featuring Dr. Rebecca O'Dwyer


This week on Seizing Life® Dr. Laura O’Dwyer joins us to talk about the fastest growing segment of people living with epilepsy in the United States – older adults. One in four new epilepsy diagnoses in America occurs in a person age 65 or older. Dr. O’Dwyer explains why adults are more likely to develop epilepsy later in life, outlines the challenges of recognizing, diagnosing, and treating epilepsy in older adults, and provides valuable information for older adults living with epilepsy and their caregivers.

Dr. Laura O’Dwyer is an Assistant Professor and the Director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Clinic for the Elderly at Rush University Medical Center. In this episode, Dr. O’Dwyer outlines the principal causes of epilepsy in older people and clarifies the relationship between stroke, brain injury, dementia, and epilepsy. She explains the challenges of identifying epilepsy in older adults for both loved ones and neurologists, and offers examples of seizure presentations that may be mistaken for dementia or even the normal cognitive impacts of aging. She discusses the considerations around prescribing anti-seizure medications for older adults, provides insights into the impact of an aging population on healthcare and neurology in the United States, and offers advice on maintaining brain health as we age. If you are an older adult or are the child of aging parents, you definitely want to listen to this episode!

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    Older Adults and Epilepsy: the Causes, the Signs, and the Treatments

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