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Status epilepticus in the elderly: differential diagnosis and treatment

Authors Mauricio, Freeman WD

Published 29 March 2011 Volume 2011:7(1) Pages 161—166


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Elizabeth Ann Mauricio, William David Freeman
Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL, USA
Date of Preparation 28th January 2011
Conflict of interest: None declared

Abstract: Seizures are not an uncommon occurrence in older adults, and the incidence of status epilepticus is much greater in the elderly than in younger populations. Status epilepticus is a neurologic emergency and requires prompt intervention to minimize morbidity and mortality. Treatment involves both supportive care as well as initiation of medications to stop all clinical and electrographic seizure activity. Benzodiazepines are used as first-line agents, followed by antiepileptic drugs when seizures persist. In refractory status epilepticus, urgent neurologic consultation is indicated for the titration of anesthetic agents to a level of appropriate background suppression on EEG. In light of our aging population, physician awareness and competence in the management of status epilepticus is imperative and should be recognized as a growing public health concern.

Keywords: status epilepticus, convulsive, generalized, nonconvulsive, refractory, elderly, treatment


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