Diagnosis of epilepsy occurs most often in the young and the over 60s and because life expectancy is increasing there are more and more epilepsy diagnoses in the older population.  It has been known for a while that the risk of late onset epilepsy is associated with stroke and dementia but a new study suggests that there may be a genetic risk as well as life-style factors such as diabetes, smoking and physical activity.  “People with dementia are at higher risk of epilepsy, and people with epilepsy are at higher risk of developing dementia” says Andres Kanner, MD, of the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami, who was not involved in the research “And now, among the risk factors for late-onset epilepsy is the presence of the APOE allele, which is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s dementia, and which may explain the bi-directional relationship between dementia and epilepsy.” While more research needs to be done there are clear implications in this research for modifying some of the life-style risk factors and so decreasing the chance of developing epilepsy in later life.  If you would like to read more, then please use the link here: