Seizures In Older Adults
Upon the arrival of a tonic clonic or grand mal seizures you may notice sudden stiffness in body, loss of consciousness, slow jerking movements in you or your dear one. They are actually caused by electric disturbances in the brain. The presentations of seizure differ with different age group. According to the report of epilepsy foundation, the older adults (people aged 65 and above) are the fastest growing population to be affected by tonic clonic/grand mal seizures. It is believed that there are two peak durations, in which the inception of epilepsy is more likely to happen; the first is in the childhood and the other is after the age of 65.
Notice Their Behavior They Might Not Discuss Their Problem With You
When parents notice that their child is having a generalized seizure, they discuss it with friends and family and make it more public. But when this develops to older adults, it is less likely that they become open about it. The disease carries a stigma with it and mostly stays as hidden disease in them.
It is still not identified the full breadth of possible symptoms and classifications of epilepsy in older adults. There is only a preconceived notion that older patients have focal seizures and results in different manifestations that includes;
- Lip smacking
- Brief unresponsiveness
- Language difficulties
Diagnosing Epilepsy In Older Adults Isn’t Straightforward
The Possible Causes Of Grand Mal Seizures In Older Adult
Generalized convulsive seizures among the older adults might occur by myriad factors that affect the brain. According to epilepsy foundation, seizures in the older adults can be linked with physical changes in the brain caused by heart disease, alzheimer’s disease, brain tumors or stroke. However, in half of the cases of epilepsy in older patients, the origin has been unidentified. Grand mal seizures may occur in the absence of any known risk and the factors that may increase the risk of developing grand mal seizure can also not be categorized. In the epilepsy world it is believed that epilepsy develops at the age of 65 because of the structural brain abnormality and most of the time it is focal when it takes place first time.
Antiepileptic Drugs As Medication
AEDs Are Commonly Prescribed For Seizures
Appropriate medications and dosages for older patients should be consulted well with a physician. First-generation AEDs (carbamazepine, pheytoin) produces numbing effect and so are commonly prescribed for grand mal seizures. Although these drugs works best on younger patients, they may cause memory problem and gait instability for older ones. Second-generation AEDs such as lamotrigine and gabapentin are better tolerated and are more proffered previous one. However these new drugs are more expensive. Other then drugs there are more activities that can be discussed with the physician to avoid possible danger for older patients.
Medical Marijuana For The Elderly As Treatment To Control Seizures
In countries where use of medical marijuana is legal, a large number of people especially with epilepsy reported controlled seizure activity using medical marijuana. The people who are working hard to bring up marijuana as a useful treatment for epilepsy have also found its use for many other diseases as well. In fact multiple states now have made laws allowing the prescribed use of marijuana
for the treatment of epilepsy.
There are many cases reported where use of medical marijuana has produced positive results to control seizures in older adults. I read an extract from truthonpot website on the use of medical marijuana or cannabis that carried a small research on the elderly in Israel to find out its effects. For 1 year patients in the age group of 69 to 101 were given cannabis 3 times a day. After a year, they found that these patients had less muscle spasms, stiffness, tremors, pain and PSTD flashback. Also, it showed an improvement in their sleep activity and weight.
There is currently limited scientific data to support the use of marijuana in the treatment of epilepsy in older adults. However, before taking any kind of such substance, you must discuss it with your doctor or physician.
Do Not Restrict Their Life Around The Disease
The older adults diagnosed with seizures have to adjust with various things considering their activities. They should not be restricted to live their life around the disease. The caregivers should focus on a balance between giving them an independent and active life while suggesting them few personal and public safety measures. Most of the time grand mal seizures’ symptoms in older adults are misinterpreted and results in more critical condition. Family can assist well a practitioner at the time of diagnosis as without a through patient history it’s not easy for them to come out on a conclusion or for further tests.
Grand Mal Seizures Related Information & Suggestions
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