NEW YORK, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Those age 50 and older are at greater risk of developing epilepsy than those under the age of 50, a U.S. researcher suggests.
Study author Dale Hesdorffer of the Sergievsky Center at Columbia University Medical Center in New York finds one-in-26 people will develop epilepsy in their lifetime. However, the risk is higher in older adults -- a risk of 1.6 percent in those under age 50 and a 3.0 risk for people 50 up to age 80. "Our results highlight the need for more research using epilepsy surveillance data, especially given the aging population in the United States," Hesdorffer says in a statement.
"Such surveillance will also provide useful information for health care planners as they address the service needs of people with epilepsy."
The study, published in the journal Neurology, is an analysis of data on 412 people from Rochester, Minn., diagnosed with epilepsy from 1960 to 1979.
Epilepsy is a group of central nervous system disorders, sometimes characterized by loss of consciousness and convulsions known as seizures, that are caused by electrical signaling disturbances in the brain.