Management of Post-Traumatic Epilepsy

Executive Summary:

Post-Traumatic Epilepsy (PTE) is a serious and disabling consequence which can occur following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Post-traumatic epilepsy is one of the most frequent types of acquired (or secondary) epilepsies - which are due to a brain insult (trauma, tumours, stroke, and infections) - and account for 20% of symptomatic epilepsy in the general population. People with acquired epilepsies commonly experience a latent “silent” period of at least 6 months, and sometimes up to 20 years, between the causative insult and the onset of seizures. It is possible, with the right understanding and evidence, that this could provide a potential time window for intervention. Due to this latency, it is essential that there is an understanding of the associated risk factors, the person’s natural history and clinical heterogeneity for appropriate treatment to be provided at the right time.

The disorder is relatively unknown in the community and is often neglected as an outcome that is measured in studies following TBI. For this reason it is important to highlight the significant impact post-traumatic epilepsy plays in the lives of people with TBI. Following injury (upon return to the community) people with TBI have to cope with, and adjust to changes in their life, and also re-establish their own self-identity. The additional complexity of a serious condition such as post-traumatic epilepsy can result in further psychosocial comorbidities, e.g. isolation or social withdrawal, stress, fatigue, anxiety, depression, fear and uncertainty that substantially impedes their recovery. 

An NTRI Forum was conducted to develop a shared understanding of the impact of post traumatic epilepsy in people following traumatic brain injury.

Date: July 2015

Management-of-Post-Traumatic-Epilepsy   Briefing-Document-PTE

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