Alzheimer’s Disease and Epilepsy

By:  Lance Fogan, M.D.

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Lance Fogan, M.D. is Clinical Professor of Neurology at the David Geffen School  of Medicine at UCLA. His hard-hitting emotional family medical drama, “DINGS, is  told from a mother’s point of view. “DINGS” is his first novel. Aside from acclamation  on internet bookstore sites, U.S. Report of Books, and the Hollywood Book Review,  DINGS has been advertised in recent New York Times Book Reviews, the Los Angeles  Times Calendar section and Publishers Weekly. DINGS teaches epilepsy and is now  available in eBook, audiobook, soft and hard cover editions.

Articles are ubiquitous in the media on Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). It is estimated that Alzheimer’s currently affects 5 million Americans. In 2050, ten percent of us will be affected, according to

Increasing knowledge based on multiple studies (meta-analysis) shows a link between AD and epilepsy. People with epilepsy had a 1.8-fold increased risk of AD. Patients with AD had a 3.1-fold higher risk of epilepsy, both generalized and focal seizures with impaired awareness (complex partial epileptic seizures). Temporal lobe epilepsy and AD share some pathologic features, such as both showing hippocampal sclerosis in the temporal lobe tip. The study populations to confirm this information is interesting, but it is inconclusive due to the relatively small populations in the studies.

Increased chemical amyloid compounds are found in the brains of patients with AD. Elderly people who may be intellectually normal all have some amyloid in their brains too, but this chemical compound is more prolific in AD dementia. It appears that amyloid pathology increases the propensity to generalized seizures. There is an association between AD and focal seizures too, with hippocampal sclerosis (scarring) in the temporal lobes.


Fang, Y., Xiaoli, S., Jial, W, et. al. Alzheimer Disease and Epilepsy. Neurology; 2023 101:e399-e409. doi: 10.1212

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