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Could I experience a post-traumatic seizure?

On Behalf of | May 14, 2024 | Injuries

If you have experienced an accident, you may be aware that headaches, dizziness and loss of consciousness could all be signs of an injury to your brain. However, many may be unaware of another risk of brain injuries: seizures. What should injured people and their loved ones know about the risk of seizures after a TBI?

What are Post-Traumatic Seizures?

Post-traumatic seizures (PTS) are seizures that occur as a direct result of a brain injury. They can manifest shortly after the injury or may develop months or even years later.

One category of PTS is early seizures, which occur within the week after the accident. According to the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center, around one quarter of people who experience these health issues will have another seizure.

The second category of PTS is late seizures, which occur more than one week after the initial injury. These seizures are an even greater predictor of the risk of repeated seizures, with four out of five people who have late post-traumatic seizures experiencing more than one.

How common are post-traumatic seizures?

The Epilepsy Foundation estimates that 10 percent of people who suffer a brain injury will experience an early seizure after their injury. About 2 percent of people who suffer a brain injury will experience repeated seizures in a condition called post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE), and half of them will continue to have seizures throughout their lives.

How are post-traumatic seizures treated?

Treatment for PTS usually involves the use of anti-seizure medications (ASMs). These medications can help to control or reduce the frequency of seizures. Beyond medication, lifestyle changes like adequate sleep, stress management, and avoiding seizure triggers can help people manage the risk of seizures.

Traumatic brain injuries are serious, and anyone who has experienced a head injury should seek medical guidance to ensure that they can identify the severe consequences of these injuries.