The occurrence of epilepsy is higher among elderly patients. The clinical manifestations of seizures, causes of epilepsy, and choice of anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) are different in elderly people with epilepsy compared to the young.
To evaluate the imaging (CT/MRI) observations in elderly patients manifesting with new-onset seizures.
Materials and Methods:
Two hundred and one elderly patients with new onset seizures, >60 years (age: 68.0 ± 7.5 years; M:F = 1.8:1) from Jan’ 07 to Jan’ 09, were prospectively recruited. Observations of cranial CT scan (n = 201) and MR imaging (n = 43) were analyzed.
The type of seizures included: Simple partial (42%), generalized tonic-clonic (30.3%), and complex partial (27.4%). The pattern of epilepsy syndromes were acute symptomatic (42.3%), remote symptomatic (18.4%), cryptogenic (37.8%), and idiopathic (1.5%). Seizures were controlled with monotherapy in 85%. The CT scan (n = 201) revealed cerebral atrophy (139), mild (79), moderate (43), and severe (18); focal lesions (98), infarcts (45), hemorrhages (18), granuloma (16), tumor (15) and gliosis (4), and hemispheric atrophy (1), white matter changes (75) and diffuse edema (21). An MRI (n = 43) showed variable degree of cerebral atrophy (31); white matter changes (20); focal cerebral lesions (24); - infarct (7); intracranial hemorrhage (6); granuloma (5); tumor (6); gliosis (1); hemispheric atrophy (1); and prominent Virchow-Robin spaces (7); and UBOs (12). Patients with focal lesions in neuroimaging more often had partial seizures, symptomatic epilepsy, past stroke, focal deficit, absence of diffuse atrophy, focal EEG slowing, abnormal CSF, seizure recurrence at follow-up (P < 0.05).
Brain imaging observations in elderly patients with new-onset seizures revealed underlying symptomatic nature, hence the etiology and thereby assisted in deciding the specific therapy.