Soldiers with brain injuries at higher risk of epilepsy decades later

Jul 19, 2010

Soldiers who receive traumatic brain injuries during war may be at a higher risk of epilepsy even decades after the brain injury occurred. The new research is published in the July 20, 2010, print issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

"Given the better chances of survival in fighting in conflicts today, our research suggests that all veterans with a should be routinely screened for post-traumatic epilepsy, even decades after the injury," said study author Jordan Grafman, PhD, of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, Md.

Post-traumatic epilepsy is the most common cause of new-onset epilepsy in young adults, with nearly 30,000 new cases per year in the United States.

For the study, researchers asked 199 veterans who experienced a brain injury 35 years prior whether they ever had a seizure. They were also given intelligence tests. The group underwent scans to detect .

Of the 199 people, about 44 percent developed post-traumatic epilepsy.

"For a surprising 13 percent, the post-traumatic didn't show up until more than 14 years after the brain injury," said Grafman. "This research strongly suggests that veterans with brain injury will require long-term neurology care."

The study also found that the type of seizure changed over time, often becoming more severe (or causing loss of consciousness).

Explore further: Science of brain signals opens new era for advertising

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Continuing the quest for better stroke therapies

5 hours ago

Helping people recover from the debilitating effects of a stroke is an immensely complex challenge that requires deep knowledge of neurophysiology as well as effective therapy. Advancing such knowledge to improve therapeutic ...

At last, hope for ALS patients?

8 hours ago

U of T researchers have found a missing link that helps to explain how ALS, one of the world's most feared diseases, paralyses and ultimately kills its victims. The breakthrough is helping them trace a path to a treatment ...

User comments : 0