Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Can Head Injury Cause Seizures

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Seizures After Head Injury: Understanding How A Post

What is a Seizure?

Elizabeth Denslow, OTR/L Flint Rehab

Individuals may experience seizures after head injury depending severity and location of the injury. For example, an injury to the frontal lobe can increase the risk of a frontal lobe seizure. Generally, the more severe a traumatic brain injury, the higher the chances of developing a seizure.

Understanding how a post traumatic seizure may occur can help you and your loved one take the necessary safety precautions. This article will discuss the potential causes of seizures after head injury, along with the various types and treatments.

Signs Of Epilepsy After A Concussion

Epilepsy that develops after a concussion or another TBI is called post-traumatic epilepsy. Its symptoms and signs depend on the type of seizure. You can have more than one type of seizure.

There are two main groups of seizures: generalized and focal, also known as partial. Generalized seizures affect both sides of the brain, while focal seizures affect one area. According to a , about 73 percent of people with post-traumatic epilepsy have generalized seizures.

There are two main types of generalized seizures:

Focal seizures can be:

If you continue to have seizures despite taking anti-epileptic medications, surgery may also be an option.

What Causes A Head Injury

In general, head injuries can be divided into two categories based on what causes them. They can either be head injuries due to blows to the head or head injuries due to shaking.

Head injuries caused by shaking are most common in infants and small children, but they can occur any time you experience violent shaking.

Head injuries caused by a blow to the head are usually associated with:

  • motor vehicle accidents

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What Should I Do If Someone Im With Has A Seizure

If you’re with someone who’s having a seizure, there are several things you can do as part of seizure first aid. Some Dos and Donts include:



  • Dont restrain them. You could hurt the person or get hurt yourself.
  • Dont put anything in their mouth. There are many myths about seizures and epilepsy. One myth is that putting something in a persons mouth like a belt or spoon can keep them from swallowing or biting their tongue. ++Dont do this.++ You shouldnt put anything into the mouth of someone having a seizure. You could hurt them or get hurt yourself.
  • Dont panic. Stay calm. If others around you are panicking, reassure them as best you can. Nearly 98% of seizures don’t last more than five minutes.

How Long Does A Seizure Last

Risk for Seizures After a Traumatic Brain Injury

There are two types of seizures that may occur after a car crash: early onset seizures and late seizures. Early onset seizures occur soon after an auto accident, often within 24 hours. Keep in mind that about one in four people with early onset seizures will have another one in the months or years to come. Late seizures occur days, weeks, or months after brain trauma. About 80% of those who experience late seizures after a traumatic brain injury will have another one.

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Do Seizures From Head Trauma Go Away

The majority of seizures happen in the first few days after a traumatic brain injury. Its possible that some may occur months or even years after the injury. About 70% to 80% of people who have had a traumatic brain injury can return to work or school with the help of medicine.

Seizures can be sudden, mild, moderate, or severe. They can occur in any part of the body, including the head, face, neck, arms, legs, hands, and feet.

What Can I Do To Manage Or Prevent Seizures

  • Keep a seizure diary. Include when the seizure started and how long it lasted. Also include what you were doing before the seizure started and if you had an aura. Ask anyone who saw you have the seizure what you did during and after the seizure. Bring the seizure diary with you to all follow-up visits.
  • Set a regular sleep schedule. A lack of sleep can trigger a seizure. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same times every day. Keep your bedroom quiet and dark. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are having trouble sleeping.
  • Limit or do not drink alcohol as directed. Alcohol can trigger a seizure, especially if you drink a large amount at one time. A drink of alcohol is 12 ounces of beer, 1½ ounces of liquor, or 5 ounces of wine. Talk to your healthcare provider about a safe amount of alcohol for you. Your provider may recommend that you do not drink any alcohol. Tell him or her if you need help to quit drinking.
  • Ask what safety precautions you should take. Talk with your healthcare provider about driving. You may not be able to drive until you are seizure-free for a period of time. You will need to check the law where you live. Also talk to your healthcare provider about swimming and bathing. You may drown or develop life-threatening heart or lung damage if you have a seizure in water.
  • Tell your friends, family members, and coworkers that you had a seizure. Give them written instructions to follow if you have another seizure.

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What Are Late Seizures

Seizures which occur more than a week after a traumatic brain injury are considered late seizures. Most often when this happens, it is because there has been more serious injury to brain cells and the chemical environment around the cells has also changed. Late seizures are more likely to lead to the complication of post-traumatic epilepsy.

How Is Coma Measured

Causes of Seizures Following Brain Injury

Depth of the coma is usually measured in the emergency and intensive care settings using a Glasgow coma scale. The scale evaluates eye opening, verbal response, and motor response. A high score shows a greater amount of consciousness and awareness.

In rehabilitation settings, here are several scales and measures used to rate and record the progress of the patient. Some of the most common of these scales are described below.

  • Rancho Los Amigos 10 Level Scale of Cognitive Functioning. This is a revision of the original Rancho 8 Level Scale, which is based on how the patient reacts to external stimuli and the environment. The scales consist of 10 different levels and each patient will progress through the levels with starts and stops, progress and plateaus.

  • Disability Rating Scale . This scale measures functional change during the course of recovery rating the person’s disability level from none to extreme. The DRS assesses cognitive and physical function, impairment, disability, and handicap and can track a person’s progress from “coma to community.”

  • Functional Independent Measure . The FIM scale measures a person’s level of independence in activities of daily living. Scores can range from 1 to 7 .

  • Functional Assessment Measure . This measure is used along with FIM and was developed specifically for people with brain injury.

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Reviewscared Or Scarred: Could Dissociogenic Lesions Predispose To Nonepileptic Seizures After Head Trauma

Traumatic brain injury is common in psychogenic nonepileptic seizures .

A possible connection is seen in maladaptive symptom modelling.

Effects of mild brain injury can include disruption of functional connectivity.

This disruption might temporarily fascilitate dissociation and PNES development.

Mild TBI might be a cause of dissociogenic lesions in some patients.

Seizures After Serious Head Injuries

Its not unusual for a serious head injury to cause seizures in the immediate aftermath of the injury. When that occurs, its important to seek medical attention right away. Seizures can do additional harm to the brain. Timely treatment can avoid or mitigate this damage, while those who ignore seizures may face lasting deficits.

Not every patient who suffers seizures shortly after a head injury will develop epilepsy or otherwise experience long-term problems. Often, the seizures experienced shortly after the injury resolve. On the other hand, seizures associated with the development of epilepsy may not begin for months, or even years.

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What Is The Prognosis For People Who Have Seizures After Tbi

  • Between 25 and 40% of people will have remission of their epilepsy with initial treatment
  • People who have frequent seizures in the first year after a TBI are less likely to have seizure remission and some of these people will have seizures that are resistant to medication
  • People with moderate to severe TBI typically receive physical and cognitive rehabilitation that is individualized to their needs
  • Psychology and psychiatry evaluation and treatment may be required for some people
  • Social and community supports are very important for people living with physical, cognitive and psychological challenges as a result of traumatic brain injury


Are There Any Warning Signs Before A Seizure

Seizure: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Many people experience a period where they can feel that a seizure is going to happen. That lead-up time, known as prodrome , can sometimes include whats known as an aura. An aura is actually a symptom of a focal seizure, which only affects one side of your brain.

When focal seizures dont spread, an aura is the only effect of the seizure. When focal seizures do spread throughout your brain, an aura is more like a warning sign that a more severe seizure is about to happen.

Auras can also take many different forms. These include:

  • Sensory symptoms. If an aura affects areas of your brain connected to your senses, those neurons can mistakenly act theyre getting real input. That can cause symptoms like seeing bright lights or distortions in how objects appear, hearing unexpected sounds, sudden unexpected tastes of smells and strange feelings on your skin.
  • Emotional changes. Auras cause some people to feel negative emotions like fear or anxiety, or positive emotions like joy or excitement. Other people may feel déjá vu or jamais vu .
  • Autonomic symptoms. Auras can affect body systems that your brain runs automatically. Some examples include sweating, making too much saliva or drooling and your skin going pale or turning red. A common aura is gastric uprising,” a rising feeling in your belly.

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How Long Can A Seizure Last Before Brain Damage

Permanent brain damage can be caused by convulsive status epilepticus lasting for 30 minutes or longer. the child or adolescent has a seizure that lasts longer than 30 seconds. The seizure may be preceded or followed by other symptoms, such as vomiting, dizziness, loss of consciousness, and/or muscle spasms. These symptoms may last for a few minutes to several hours, or they may continue for several days or weeks.

In some cases, the seizures can be so severe that they cause the patient to lose consciousness or become comatose. This is known as a convulsive seizure. The seizures may also be accompanied by a wide range of other physical and psychological symptoms.

An Increased Risk Of Seizure Factors

There are a number of factors that play into ones risk of developing a seizure disorder after head trauma.

Penetrating injuries, such as gunshot wounds, have the highest likelihood of leading to seizures. Its estimated that between 60-70% of individuals with penetrating traumatic brain injuries will have a seizure.

If two or more brain surgeries were needed to repair damage or remove blood clots from the brain after head trauma, the risk for seizure is about 35%.

If the head trauma is entirely contained within the skull the risk is about 20%.

There are other factors, some of which you have control over, that can also increase ones risk of seizures after TBI.

Drugs and alcohol lower the threshold for seizure regardless of prior brain injury.

After head trauma, drugs and alcohol greatly increase the likelihood of having a seizure. This is very dangerous because if youve been drinking or taking other drugs you may be more likely to vomit during the seizure and you will not have adequate control over your gag and cough reflexes. This can lead to aspirating stomach contents into the lungs which can be fatal.

Not getting enough sleep and being stressed also lower the seizure threshold. Sometimes a seizure happens years after a brain injury when the person is under a great amount of pressure and feeling fatigued.

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Who Is Most Likely To Have Seizures After A Traumatic Brain Injury

A study funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research .

About 2.5 million Americans experience a traumatic brain injury each year. TBI is lasting brain damage from a head trauma such as a fall or a car accident, and it can be mild, moderate, or severe. Some people experience seizures — sudden bursts of electrical activity in the brain that can cause occasional jerky body movements or reduced levels of consciousness — after a TBI. These seizures can happen any time, from hours to months or years after the injury. In a recent NIDILRR-funded study, researchers looked at factors that could put people at a higher risk for seizures during the first two years after a TBI. They wanted to see if people who had other conditions before their TBI were more likely to experience seizures after their TBI. They also wanted to find out if receiving surgical treatment for TBI-related complications could affect seizure risk.

In addition, the researchers found that participants who had craniotomies or craniectomies were much more likely to have seizures than those who did not, both in the hospital and at follow-up. The participants with more extensive brain bruising were also more likely to have a seizure in the hospital. TBI severity, by itself, did not differently affect seizure risk among individuals who all sustained a significant TBI.

Can I Get Compensation For Injuries After A Car Accident

Traumatic Brain Injury and Epilepsy

The physical impact can be quite painful, however, processing your claim doesnt have to be. With a skilled personal injury attorney, you can get compensation on matters like medical bills, car repairs, and pain & suffering.

This is when a call with Attorney Mike Hostilo and our skilled legal team is vital. Having an experienced car accident lawyer means you have a strong advocate on your side when facing the insurance company. We all know how exhausting that can be so allow us to successfully manage the claim for you.

Plus, you only pay us if we win your case. A true stress-free experience!

Our team can manage your case from beginning to end while you focus on your physical and mental health after your traumatic accident. So, remove any more stress and hire a skilled lawyer to make your experience easier.

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How Are People Impacted By Tbi

Traumatic brain injuries can range from mild, to moderate, to severe and as a result the spectrum of impact on any individual can vary. The terms mild, moderate and severe refer to the severity of the trauma not the consequences from the TBI. Mild trauma to the brain may affect brain cell function for hours, days or weeks. More severe brain injuries often have more long-term effects and can result in significant disability or death. A range of both physical cognitive and psychiatric symptoms can be present after a traumatic brain injury. In addition, changes in movement, sensation, vision and hearing are possible and seizures and epilepsy are a relatively frequent complication of TBI. The area of the brain affected by the injury, the extent of the brain injury and the age and general health of a person before the injury will determine how a person is impacted.

How Can I Tell If A Head Injury Is Mild Or Severe

mild, with symptoms that last less than 15 minutes and involve no loss of consciousness. Moderate, with no loss of consciousness, and symptoms that last longer than 15 minutes. Sometimes the person loses consciousness for just a few seconds. The severity of the symptoms depends on how severe they are and how long they last.

For example, if a person has a mild headache, he or she may not have any symptoms at all. But if the headache lasts for more than five minutes, it may be a sign of a more serious condition.

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Is It Safe To Become Pregnant If I Have Epilepsy And Take Medication

People with epilepsy can have children. While many anti-epilepsy medications aren’t considered safe during pregnancy, most people with epilepsy can still have healthy children by working with a healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider is the best person to talk to guide you on this or refer you to a specialist.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Seizures are not an uncommon neurological condition. About 11% of people will have a seizure at some point in their life, but most will have only one, and it’s often for a specific reason. That means the one seizure wont ever be a problem again. People who have more than one seizure without a specific underlying reason have epilepsy. While epilepsy is often a frightening condition, there are ways to treat it. With treatment, many people with epilepsy can live happy, fulfilling lives.

What Are The Possible Results Of Brain Injury

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Some brain injuries are mild, with symptoms disappearing over time with proper attention. Others are more severe and may result in permanent disability. The long-term or permanent results of brain injury may need post-injury and possibly lifelong rehabilitation. Effects of brain injury may include:

  • Cognitive deficits
  • Difficulty understanding where limbs are in relation to the body

  • Vision problems, including double vision, lack of visual acuity, or limited range of vision

  • Communication and language deficits
  • Difficulty speaking and understanding speech

  • Difficulty choosing the right words to say

  • Difficulty reading or writing

  • Difficulty knowing how to perform certain very common actions, like brushing one’s teeth

  • Slow, hesitant speech and decreased vocabulary

  • Difficulty forming sentences that make sense

  • Problems identifying objects and their function

  • Problems with reading, writing, and ability to work with numbers

  • Functional deficits
  • Impaired ability with activities of daily living , such as dressing, bathing, and eating

  • Problems with organization, shopping, or paying bills

  • Inability to drive a car or operate machinery

  • Social difficulties
  • Impaired social capacity resulting in difficult interpersonal relationships

  • Difficulties in making and keeping friends

  • Difficulties understanding and responding to the nuances of social interaction

  • Regulatory disturbances
  • Anxiety and depression

  • Traumatic Epilepsy
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