Post-traumatic epilepsy: an overview

Therapy. 2010 Sep;7(5):527-531. doi: 10.2217/THY.10.57.


Post-traumatic seizures (PTS) and post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE) are complications from traumatic brain injury (TBI). PTE refers to recurrent and unprovoked PTS that occur at least 1 week after TBI. Seizures during the first week after TBI are considered provoked, an acute complication from head injury, while seizures occurring 1 week after TBI are considered a manifestation of PTE and if only a single seizure occurs it is known as late PTS. EEG and neuroimaging help in the diagnosis of PTE. Predictors for PTE include TBI severity, presence of intracranial bleeding and early PTS. Several clinical trials have demonstrated that antiepileptic drugs are effective in reducing the frequency of acute PTS, but do not appear to alter the natural history of late PTS or PTE.

Keywords: antiepileptic drugs; head injury; post-traumatic epilepsy; prophylaxis; seizures; traumatic brain injury.