Risk of seizures is high in patients with Alzheimer's disease compared to those without the neuro-generative disease, says a new report.

The new study conducted across a large sample size of 14,838 patients found that the incidence of seizures related to Alzheimer's disease was 6.4 times higher than patients without the disease.

“This is a huge population of Alzheimer's disease patients and we believe it's the largest population study of to estimate seizure risk among these patients,” says Nicole Baker, Pfizer, Inc., Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

Researchers analyzed medical records of patients with Alzheimer's disease and healthy people from nearly 400 primary care practices in the United Kingdom between 1988 and 2009. Then they kept updating medical records of patients with Alzheimer's disease for an average 2.3 years and the non-Alzheimer's patients for an average 3.4 years.

Analysis of the data from both groups led to the conclusion that total incidence rate of seizure amongst disease patients stood at 9.1 per 1,000 person years, compared with the rate of 1.4 for non-Alzheimer's subjects.

The occurrence of seizures was the highest among patients who contacted the disease at a relatively younger age. The incidence among non-AD patients increased slightly with age.

"What was really interesting was the incidence rate among age groups. Among Alzheimer's disease patients, the incidence rate was higher in the youngest age group, then decreased in the next age group and increased again in the oldest age group," she says.

The seizure risk was greater with Alzheimer's patients in all age groups, but the youngest Alzheimer's group had the greatest risk, the study concluded.

The observations were presented at the Alzheimer's Association's International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease 2010 (ICAD). The study was funded by Wyeth Research and Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy Research & Development, which was acquired by Pfizer, Inc.