Seizure semiology and aging

Diosely C. Silveira, Lara Jehi, Jessica Chapin, Suparna Krishnaiengar, Eric Novak, Nancy Foldvary-Schaefer, Imad Najm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The incidence of epilepsy is high in older individuals. However, epilepsy in the elderly may be underdiagnosed and undertreated because of diagnostic difficulties. The main goal of this study was to determine whether seizure semiology differs between older and younger adults with epilepsy in the outpatient setting. Fifty patients with focal epilepsy aged 55. years and older and 50 patients aged between 18 and 45. years were included. Review of medical records contained detailed seizure description. There were no differences in seizure semiology between groups, except that subtle perceptions of transient confusion were seen in older patients but not in younger patients (P= 0.0028). Older patients had less generalized motor seizures, but the differences between groups did not reach significance (P= 0.01). Older patients may present with subtle symptoms of seizures characterized by brief periods of confusion, which may contribute to greater difficulty diagnosing seizures in the elderly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-377
Number of pages3
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Diagnosis
  • Elderly
  • Seizure semiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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