Children,adults may develop epilepsy after traumatic brain injury

February 24th, 2009 - 4:12 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Feb 24 (IANS) Children and young adults, who have suffered traumatic brain injury, are likely to face heightened risk of epilepsy more than 10 years after the event.
Therefore, there could be an opportunity to protect these patients from epilepsy, said Jakob Christensen, neurologist, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark

Approximately 1.6 million young adults born in Denmark between 1977and 2002 were identified by researchers from the Civil Registration system. Then data from the National Hospital Register were gathered on traumatic brain injury and epilepsy.

According to findings, the risk of epilepsy for mild brain injury or skull fracture doubled, and was multiplied by seven for patients with serious brain injury.

Still a decade after the physical damage occurred, the risk of epilepsy was one-and-a-half times higher for mild brain injury, twice higher for skull fractures and four-and-a-half times higher for severe brain injury.

For people over 15 years of age, the risk was all the more striking and increased three-and-a-half times for mild injury, and more than twelve times for severe injury.

Women were at greater risk than men, and even more patients with a family history, showing a risk six times higher for mild injury and 10 times higher for severe injury, said an Aarhus release.

The study authors concluded that “Traumatic brain injury is a significant risk indicator for epilepsy many years after the injury. Drug treatment after brain injury with the aim of preventing post-traumatic epilepsy has been discouraging, but our data suggest a long time interval for potential, preventive treatment of high risk patients.”

These findings will apppear in The Lancet.

-Indo-Asian News Service


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