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Soldiers with brain injuries at higher risk of epilepsy decades later, study finds

Date:
July 20, 2010
Source:
American Academy of Neurology
Summary:
Soldiers who receive traumatic brain injuries during war may be at a higher risk of epilepsy even decades after the brain injury occurred, according to new research.
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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 soldiers fighting in conflicts today, our research suggests that all veterans with a traumatic brain injury 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 brain lesions.

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

"For a surprising 13 percent, the post-traumatic epilepsy 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).


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Materials provided by American Academy of Neurology. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. V. Raymont, A.M. Salazar, R. Lipsky, D. Goldman, G. Tasick, and J. Grafman. Correlates of posttraumatic epilepsy 35 years following combat brain injury. Neurology, 2010; 75: 224-229 [link]

Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology. "Soldiers with brain injuries at higher risk of epilepsy decades later, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100719162633.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology. (2010, July 20). Soldiers with brain injuries at higher risk of epilepsy decades later, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 20, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100719162633.htm
American Academy of Neurology. "Soldiers with brain injuries at higher risk of epilepsy decades later, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100719162633.htm (accessed February 20, 2017).