A seizure occurs when there is an abrupt and uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain. There are many causes of seizure, and one of them is a brain injury. Not all traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients suffer from seizures. Depending on the location of damage in the brain, seizures happen in around 10-50% of TBI patients. In most cases, these will occur within the first weeks following the injury, but it’s not uncommon for some patients to have a seizure years after the injury happened.
The risk of developing a seizure, even later in life for TBI patients, will depend on the severity of the brain injury, the depression in the skull, the presence of hematoma, and the depth of wound in penetrating injuries. The risk is actually higher within the first two years post-injury, but it could gradually decline if the patient is taking medications or undergoing therapy.
According to the Epilepsy Foundation, seizures that begin at least a week after the injury often become recurrent, a condition known as Post-Traumatic Epilepsy (PTE). Half of the patients with PTE will experience a remission if they keep up their medications and therapy for at least five years.
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