Pathophysiological considerations of seizures, epilepsy, and status epilepticus in the elderly

Rebecca M. Verellen, Jose E. Cavazos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Acute seizures, epilepsy and status epilepticus have the highest incidences in those over the age of 60 as compared to all other age groups. The most common etiological factors for epilepsy in the elderly are related to cerebrovascular disease. Diagnosing epilepsy in the elderly is challenging because of the subtle manifestations of partial seizures and the presence of age related cognitive difficulties, co-morbid conditions, and medications. Epilepsy treatment in this population is also difficult due to age related changes in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics as well as individual variability. There are considerable gaps of knowledge about the basic pathophysiological mechanisms of recurrent partial onset seizures in the aged brain. This article critically reviews pathophysiological considerations that might impact the scientific approach of experimental research modeling of unprovoked seizures and epilepsy in elderly individuals, and the limited experimental epilepsy research on aged models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)278-285
Number of pages8
JournalAging and Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2011


  • Aging
  • Elderly
  • Epilepsy
  • Pathophysiology
  • Seizures
  • Status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cell Biology


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