Seizure Risk Lingers 10 Years After Brain Trauma

Danish study sparks ideas for better long-term treatment
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2009 2:18 PM CST
The new epilepsy findings are likely to spark more research from those looking at the long-term health effects of high-impact sports like football.   (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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(Newser) – Among the overlooked effects of the sort of brain injuries incurred in contact sports is the likelihood of having an epileptic seizure as long as 10 years after the injury, new research shows. The risk goes up 3.5 times for those who had a mild injury or skull fracture, and 12 times for those with serious brain injuries, the Telegraph reports.

More than 10 years after a serious injury, the risk of seizures was still more than 4.5 times higher than normal. These new findings could open a window for better epilepsy treatment and prevention. "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," said the study's Danish authors.