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What are some causes of seizures in elderly patients?

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Seizures in elderly patients are caused by a number of factors, including strokes, brain tumors and Alzheimer's disease, says the American Academy of Family Physicians. Epilepsy, a condition where patients have multiple seizures, occurs most often in children and elderly patients, according to WebMD.

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In one study, patients who had their first seizures after the age of 60 most often had a stroke before the seizure, states the American Academy of Family Physicians. Some seizures happen years after the stroke occurred.

When the brain is damaged, patients are more likely to have seizures, explains WebMD. Having a stroke or head injury damages the brain and increases the likelihood of seizures. A seizure is caused when electrical impulses in the brain exceed normal limits. Its symptoms include twitching or convulsions in the muscles.

Patients diagnosed with brain tumors such as meningiomas and malignant gliomas are more likely to have seizures, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Elderly patients are also more likely to have degenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, which increases their risk of having seizures as the disease progresses.

Factors such as abnormal levels of sodium or blood sugar cause seizures in people of any age, notes WebMD. Other conditions that increase the risk of having a seizure include low oxygen during birth, tuberous sclerosis and meningitis infection.

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