The intersection of dementia and epilepsy: leading insights from NDCN

A sandwich lunch will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

We have known for a long time that seizures are more common in people with dementia. Until very recently, though, those seizures were considered epiphenomenon – a natural consequence of neuronal loss. It is now appreciated that this is not the case. There is a complex bidirectional relationship between epilepsy and dementia which is further compounded by how these prevalent conditions intersect with cerebrovascular disease.

In this presentation, I will explore how epilepsy, dementia, vascular disease and ageing inter-relate. In particular, I will highlight how work from NDCN has shaped current understanding and changed the landscape in an emerging area of neuroscience. We will discuss epidemiology, molecular mechanisms and big data analytics. We will showcase how theories initially developed in Oxford now have mechanistic underpinning and how lateral thinking led to the Investigation of Levetiracetam in Alzheimer’s Disease (ILiAD) trial – a pioneering study that explores the potential utility of an anti-seizure medication to help improve cognitive function in people with dementia.

Might it be that better understanding of seizures in older people offers treatments for dementia at global scale?