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Effect of epileptic activity on the progression of Alzheimer's disease


National Research, Development and Innovation Office, Postdoctoral Excellence Programme (PD-132652)

Research leader

Dr. András Attila Horváth


2019- 2022


Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of cognitive decline in old age. Our current knowledge is that we cannot substantially influence the course of the disease, we need to look for additional new therapeutic targets. Epilepsy is a newly identified comorbid factor of Alzheimer's disease. Most studies to date have focused on epileptic seizures, while the isolated effects of epileptiform discharges without seizures have been ignored. Since it is known that epileptic discharges alter cortical networks and their functional connectivity, it is hypothesized that increased excitability may also accelerate the rate of cognitive decline. However, the prevalence of epileptic activity in the initial phase of the disease is not fully understood, and the association between network changes and epileptic discharges in dementia has not been investigated. In light of this, it can be seen that investigating the impact of epileptiform activity on the progression of cognitive decline is an important new direction. Hypotheses: 1, Epileptiform discharges are observed in more than 20% of patients with mild Alzheimer's disease; 2, Epileptiform discharges alter the functional connectivity of brain networks; 3, Epileptiform activity accelerates the progression of cognitive decline.

The figure below illustrates that in AD patients with epileptic discharges on the EEG (AD+SEA group), the rate of disease progression is significantly faster. This research highlights the pathogenic role of epileptic activity in the progression of AD.

Last updated: 06.06.2021.

Neurocognitive Research Centre

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