New research suggests having an unexplained epileptic seizure in a person over age 60 as a sign of high risk for a future stroke.
Researchers looked at 4,700 patients who had a seizure after age 60 and 4,700 people around the same age who did not have a seizure. They compared the two groups for subsequent occurrence of stroke.
Researchers found that those who had a seizure were three-times more likely to have a stroke than those individuals who did not have a seizure. This risk was higher than that of a bad cholesterol level, smoking or lack of exercise. Researchers say this study points out that patients who have a seizure after age 60 should be screened for vascular risk factors and treated appropriately.
However, specialists say preventive treatments, such as medications, would depend on the patient's absolute risk of stroke.