Worse Clinical Outcomes, Higher Mortality Rates, and Shorter Lifespans in Epilepsy and Dementia: Ifrah Zawar, MD


The assistant professor of neurology at the University of Virginia spoke at the 2022 AES Conference about clinical outcomes of patients with dementia who experience seizures. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

“Various studies in the past have shown that anywhere from 1.5% up to 64% of patients with dementia have seizures and the risk of developing seizures among dementia patients compared to the general population is like tenfold, so it's pretty high.”

The latest research has proven a strong association between seizures and dementia, as findings have shown the high impact seizures have on clinical and mortality outcomes. As patients with epilepsy experience symptoms of cognitive decline, patients with dementia are similarly at a high risk of developing seizures. In addition, seizures have been often associated with more severe cognitive impairment among patients with dementia.

Recently, Ifrah Zawar, MD, presented an abstract on the clinical outcomes of patients who experience both seizures and dementia during a poster session at the 2022 American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting, held December 2 to 6, in Nashville, Tennessee. In her presentation, she provided an overview of the study in which results demonstrated that patients with active seizures and dementia at a younger age have worse cognition, poorer function, and higher mortality rates compared with patients who have dementia without seizures.1

At the meeting, Zawar, assistant professor of neurology at the University of Virginia, sat down with NeurologyLive® for an interview and offered a summary about the current knowns and unknowns about epilepsy and seizures in those with dementia. She also explained the most important aspect of care and the most recent advances of care for patients in this specific population. Zawar provided detail on the previous research that has revealed the knowledge gaps between epilepsy and dementia.

Click here for more coverage of AES 2022.

1. Zawar I. Seizures in Dementia Associated With Worse Clinical Outcomes, Higher Mortality Rates and Shorter Lifespan. Presented at: AES Annual Meeting; December 2-6, 2022; Nashville, TN, and virtual.
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