Traumatic Brain Injury and Epileptic Seizures

  • Fiona J. L. Arnold
  • Andrew W. McEvoy
Reference work entry


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an alteration in brain function resulting from blunt or penetrating force to the head. In the developed world, trauma is the leading cause of death in the under-45 age group, with TBI as the main cause of disability and death in trauma patients. The resulting neurological deficits range from severe disability to an incidence of up to 50% of subtle cognitive impairment.

Posttraumatic seizures occur in 10–50% of severe TBI cases. “Immediate” seizures occur within 24 h of injury, and are often considered a subgroup of “early” seizures. “Early” seizures occur within 7 days, and can cause secondary cerebral injury. “Late” seizures occur after 7 days. The term “posttraumatic epilepsy” describes two or more late seizures. It is a common cause of acquired epilepsy, and impairs the quality of life of TBI survivors.

Although the use of prophylactic antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) reduces the incidence of early seizures in high-risk patients, there is no...


Traumatic Brain Injury Severe Traumatic Brain Injury Early Seizure Late Seizure Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations


Anti-epileptic drugs


Cerebral blood flow


Traumatic brain injury


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fiona J. L. Arnold
    • 1
  • Andrew W. McEvoy
    • 1
  1. 1.The National Hospital for Neurology and NeurosurgeryLondonUK

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