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Head Injury While Young Ups Epilepsy Risk

by The Kid's Doctor Staff

Children and young adults who suffer a traumatic brain injury are at high risk of developing epilepsy for more than 10 years after the injury according to a new report by Danish researchers. However, the report points out that treatments carried out during that time period may help prevent epilepsy.

Researchers looked at national data in Denmark. It revealed the risk of epilepsy was more than doubled among people who had suffered a mild brain injury or skull fracture and was seven times higher than normal in those who had suffered a serious brain injury.

“Traumatic brain injury is a significant risk indicator for epilepsy many years after the injury. 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,” wrote Dr. Jakob Christensen, of the neurology department at Aarhus University Hospital, and colleagues. The study will be published in an upcoming issued of The Lancet.

The risk of epilepsy was most pronounced in children over 15-years-old. The researchers also found that female brain injury patients had a slightly higher risk than males and that the risk was especially high among patients with a family history of epilepsy.

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