Epilepsy and dementia risk

To what extent does having focal epilepsy compared with stroke or migraine increase the risk of developing dementia, and how is it affected by modifiable cardiovascular risk factors?

This cross-sectional study (JAMA Neurol. 2023;80(5):445-454. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2023.0339) of 495 149 participants aged 38 to 72 years without dementia at baseline demonstrated that participants with epilepsy and high cardiovascular risk were more than 13 times more likely to develop dementia compared with control participants with low cardiovascular risk while participants with stroke and high cardiovascular risk were almost 6 times more likely to develop dementia. Having epilepsy was associated with higher incident dementia risk than a history of stroke.

This study found that epilepsy was associated with a significant risk of developing dementia, which was magnified substantially by cardiovascular risk.