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Strokes May Lead To Epilepsy

Discussion in 'Hospital' started by The Good Doctor, May 25, 2021.

  1. The Good Doctor

    The Good Doctor Golden Member

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    What is a stroke?

    A stroke happens when a clot blocks the blood supply to the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. Every year, about 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke. It is a leading cause of long-term disability and a leading cause of death.

    Signs that someone is having a stroke are:
    • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
    • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or problems understanding speech
    • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
    • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination
    • Sudden severe headache with no known cause
    Call 911 right away if you or someone else has any of these symptoms.

    Strokes can cause seizures and epilepsy

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    Lower your chance of having a stroke by:
    • Controlling high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol
    • Having a healthy weight
    • Being physically active
    • Eating a healthy diet
    • Limiting alcohol
    • Avoiding smoking
    Epilepsy is a broad term used for a brain disorder that causes repeated seizures. There are many types of epilepsy, and there are also many different kinds of seizures.

    A single seizure may happen soon after a stroke. You don’t necessarily have epilepsy if you have just one seizure, and you won’t necessarily develop it. Certain types of strokes, such as ones that cause bleeding, and more severe strokes may be more likely to cause epilepsy.

    One study found that among people who had strokes, 5% had one seizure and 7% developed epilepsy in the 30 months afterward.

    Epilepsy caused by strokes can usually be controlled with anti-seizure medicines. It’s important to take medicine as prescribed to keep seizures under control.

    Older adults are more at risk

    Overall, adults with a history of epilepsy are much more likely to report that they’ve had a stroke compared to people who have never had epilepsy. This is especially true in people aged 45 or older, those with lower incomes, and those who have a history of high blood pressure. A CDC study found that about 23% of adults aged 65 or older with a history of epilepsy reported having had a stroke, compared to only about 5% of older adults without a history of epilepsy.

    New epilepsy is also more likely to develop in older adults than younger adults. Stroke causes up to half of new epilepsy cases in older adults for which a cause can be identified. This makes stroke one of the most common reasons people develop epilepsy as they age.

    Seizures may be hard to recognize in older adults and may be overlooked. For instance, trouble with memory, confusion, falls, dizziness, or numbness may be viewed as “normal” aging problems. However, these can actually be symptoms of seizures and are not normal. Older adults who have had a stroke, and their caregivers, should watch for these symptoms.

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