tion will be age 65 or older, an increase from approximately 13 percent in 2010 (Census Bureau, 2011; IOM, 2008). Due to the aging of the population and increases in life expectancy, the number of older adults who develop or have epilepsy will increase. Some of the increase will be from known causes, such as stroke, dementia, and TBI, which is often due to falls. Better medical management of stroke has increased survival rates and, thus, the number of survivors at risk for epilepsy; the number of people with aging-related dementia also is increasing; and the incidence of fall-induced TBI is rising in older adults (Annegers et al., 1995; Broderick et al., 1989; Fuster and Bansilal, 2010; Kannus et al., 2007; Ramanathan et al., 2012; Tartaglia et al., 2011; Watson and Mitchell, 2011). Older adults with epilepsy may experience greater disability because of deteriorations in health due to advanced age, comorbid conditions, and greater likelihood of side effects from seizure medications due to altered pharmacokinetics and interactions with other medications (Faught, 1999). The resultant impairments can decrease quality of life and increase the need for health services and long-term care (Guralnik et al., 1996). In anticipation of a growing number of older adults with epilepsy, additional research is needed that focuses on concerns specific to this population, including preventing adverse medication interactions and disability and maintaining independent living.
Epilepsy takes freedom from those who suffer from it. We cannot allow our citizens who have fought for freedom to lose their own freedom.
Veterans Returning service members from Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) are a specific population in which research on epilepsy incidence is needed, because TBI, the most common injury of OEF-OIF (U.S. Army Traumatic Brain Injury Task Force, 2007), is associated with up to a 53-percent risk for posttraumatic epilepsy, depending on the severity of the injury (Salazar et al., 1985). The number of service members who survive after sustaining a serious injury is higher now than for any previous war (Goldberg, 2010; Lowenstein, 2009). Between 2001 and 2007, an estimated 1.6 million U.S. military personnel were deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq (Tanielian et al., 2008). Among a study population of approximately 868,000 service members, approximately 1,300 were hospitalized with a severe TBI, 1,550 with a moderate TBI, and 133 with a mild TBI (Wojcik et al., 2010). However, most people who sustain a mild TBI are not hospitalized, and many do not go to the emergency department (U.S. Army Traumatic Brain Injury Task Force, 2007), and mild TBIs comprise approximately three-quarters of all TBI cases in OEF-OIF service members (Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center, 2012). A report of the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board (2006) found that the Department of Defense (DOD) did not have a system-wide