September 6, 2005 - Researchers in Norway determined that strokeseverity measured by the Scandinavian Stroke Scale is a statisticallysignificant predictor for epilepsy after stroke. Data shows that morethan 20,000 Americans will develop epilepsy due to stroke each year.This research is published in the August issue of the journal Epilepsia.
In one of the longest follow-up studies performed with data from almost500 patients, researchers found that 3.1% of people who suffered astroke developed epilepsy. Those who experienced severe strokes hadfive-times the risk of developing epilepsy post-stroke compared tothose with less severe strokes. Neither treatment in a specializedstroke unit, age at onset of stroke, or geographical location seemed toinfluence the risk of developing epilepsy after a stroke in this study.
"It is important to perform further studies to find out whether newertreatments, such as acute thrombolysis can reduce the frequency ofpost-stroke epilepsy," states Morten I. Lossius, Director of theDepartment for Education and Research of the National Centre forEpilepsy in Norway. "It is also important to try to improve thetreatment of stroke patients beyond what today are known as the goldstandards, which apart from thrombolysis, was followed in our study.New neuroprotective drugs and increased use of thrombolysis may play animportant role in future treatment."
Researchers add it is vital that health workers are aware ofthe risk of post-stroke epilepsy. If they are able to detect epilepticseizures among stroke patients, treatment with anti-epileptic drugs areoften effective in preventing the patient from having more seizures.
About the Journal
Epilepsia is the leading, most authoritative source for currentclinical and research results on all aspects of epilepsy. As thejournal of the International League Against Epilepsy, Epilepsiapresents subscribers with scientific evidence and clinical methodologyin: clinical neurology, neurophysiology, molecular biology,neuroimaging, neurochemistry, neurosurgery, pharmacology,neuroepidemiology, and therapeutic trials. Each monthly issue featuresoriginal peer reviewed articles, progress in epilepsy research, briefcommunications, editorial commentaries, special supplements, meetingreports, book reviews, and announcements.
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