Prevalence, Semiology, and Risk Factors of Epilepsy in Alzheimer's Disease: An Ambulatory EEG Study

András Horváth, A. Szűcs, Zoltán Hidasi, Gábor Csukly, Gábor Barcs, A. Kamondi

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the primary cause of cognitive decline. A growing body of evidence suggests that AD patients have a higher risk to develop epileptic seizures; however, results are contradictory due to different methodological approaches of previous studies. Objective: We aimed to identify the prevalence, semiology, and risk factors of epilepsy in AD using long-term EEG. Methods: We selected forty-two AD patients and examined them using 24-hour ambulatory EEG. Neurological and epileptological data were collected with retro- and prospective methods. We analyzed the semiology of the identified seizures and the possible risk factors using logistic regression analysis. Results: We identified seizures confirmed by EEG in 24%. The majority of the seizures were aware focal (72%) without any motor activity (55%). We found epileptiform discharges without seizures in 28%. Patients with seizures and only with epileptic EEG activity showed similar clinical and demographical features. Higher education (OR:1.8) and lower Addenbrooke Examination Score (OR: 0.9) were identified as risk factors of epilepsy. Increase of 0.1 point in the Verbal-Language/Orientation-Memory ratio (VLOM) was associated with higher epilepsy risk as well (OR:2.9). Conclusion: Epilepsy is a frequent comorbidity of AD. Since most of the seizures are aware non-motor focal seizures, sensitive EEG techniques are required for precise diagnosis of epilepsy. Long-term ambulatory EEG is a safe and well-tolerated option. Epileptiform EEG in AD signals the presence of concomitant epilepsy. Clinicians have to pay attention to comorbid epilepsy in dementia patients with high education, with high VLOM ratio and severe stage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1045-1054
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018



  • Alzheimer's disease
  • epilepsy
  • long-term EEG
  • risk factors
  • seizures
  • semiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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