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article imageAlzheimer's: Antiepileptic drugs linked to higher risk of stroke

By Tim Sandle     Oct 10, 2018 in Health
New Scandinavian research has found a connection between antiepileptic drugs and a higher risk of stroke, in persons with Alzheimer’s disease. The effects were the same with old and new generation drugs for epilepsy.
Antiepileptic drug use is has been linked with an enhanced risk of stroke in relation to people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. This is based on research from the University of Eastern Finland. The investigators discovered that the risk did not alter between old and new epilepsy drugs. The chances of stroke were higher for the first three months of antiepileptic drug prescriptions. This was after accounting for different lifestyle factors.
According to a related study, people with Alzheimer’s disease use antiepileptic drugs at a higher frequency than persons without the neurodegenerative disease. Furthermore, around 1 percent of the population in high-income countries require chronic antiepileptic treatment in order to control epilepsy.
The new research, discussed by Health Europa, suggests that as people with Alzheimer’s disease are more susceptible to adverse events, the use of antiepileptic drugs needs be carefully considered.
The studies drew on data collated by the Finnish register-based MEDALZ cohort which was made-up of all community-dwelling people diagnosed with clinically verified Alzheimer’s disease. These were cases in Finland identified between 2005 and 2011 (comprising of 70,718 people). Data on antiepileptic drug prescriptions was taken from the Finnish Prescription Register. The research was undertaken at the University of Eastern Finland.
The results have been published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. The research paper is titled "Antiepileptic Drug Use and the Risk of Stroke Among Community‐Dwelling People With Alzheimer Disease: A Matched Cohort Study."
More about Antiepileptic drugs, Alzheimers Disease, Stroke
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