Epilepsy may present itself immediately following a traumatic brain injury, or it may show up months or even years after the initial injury. As a general rule of thumb, the more severe the brain injury, the higher the risk of developing epilepsy. The most common types of seizures associated with traumatic brain injury are “generalized” seizures, which are also referred to as “Grand Mal”seizures.
Link Between Epilepsy and TBI
Why is epilepsy a common effect of traumatic brain injury? The brain injury damages the pathways of the brain, causing the electrical function of the brain to short circuit. When this happens, a seizure results.
The tool used to diagnose epilepsy is called a Electroencephalograph (EEG), which is a machine that monitors the electrical activity of the brain. About 80% of people with epilepsy have abnormal EEGs.
Treatment of Epilepsy
Epilepsy can be treated and controlled with prescription drugs. Because epilepsy can be dangerous, it’s important that it’s treated with anti-seizure medications as soon as possible. Most doctors will prescribe a preventative course of medication to a patient who has experienced a brain injury, just to be on the safe side.