Objective: To examine the potential efficacy of statin treatment in reducing the risk of poststroke seizures.
Methods: In this cohort study, patients with a first-ever ischemic stroke and no history of epilepsy before stroke were enrolled. After a mean follow-up period of 2.5 years, a follow-up assessment was performed to identify poststroke epilepsy. Logistic regression and Cox regression analyses were used to assess the relationship between statin use and poststroke early-onset seizures or poststroke epilepsy.
Results: Of 1,832 enrolled patients, 63 (3.4%) patients had poststroke early-onset seizures and 91 (5.0%) patients had poststroke epilepsy. Statin use was associated with a lower risk of poststroke early-onset seizures (odds ratio [OR] 0.35, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.20-0.60, p < 0.001), and this reduced risk was seen mainly in patients who used a statin only in the acute phase (OR 0.36, 95% CI 0.20-0.62, p < 0.001). No significant association was found between statin use and poststroke epilepsy (OR 0.81, 95% CI 0.52-1.26, p = 0.349). In 63 patients who presented with early-onset seizures, statin use was associated with reduced risk of poststroke epilepsy (OR 0.34, 95% CI 0.13-0.88, p = 0.026).
Conclusions: Statin use, especially in the acute phase, may reduce the risk of poststroke early-onset seizures. In addition, statin treatment may prevent the progression of initial poststroke seizure-induced neurodegeneration into chronic epilepsy. Because of the observational nature of the study, more studies are needed to confirm the results.
Classification of evidence: This study provides Class III evidence that in patients with a first-ever ischemic stroke, the early use of statins reduces the risk of early poststroke seizures.
© 2015 American Academy of Neurology.