Does TBI aggravate seizures?

Posted on Mon, 15 Jun 2015 in General Health
Question: I have grand mal seizures since 1973, approx. 1 a month then in 1975 I had an auto accident that gave me tbi. My question is (do the old seizures aggravate the tbi seizures, or the tbi seizure's aggravate the old seizures and the big question is how? I take the same medication for both seizures and both seizures or grand mal seizures. I take dilentin and phenobarbital from 1975 to 1993, then the medication was changed to Valporic acid Lamotregin. I take 250 mg for the first and 10 mg for the second due to the fact that the Doctor reduced the medication in 2010 due to side effects of the medication. So far no medication has had any significant change in the amount of seizures that I get approx. 16 a year.
Answered by Dr. Erion Spaho 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Detailed answer below.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and thanks for the direct question.

I have read your question and understand your concerns.

The way that TBI aggravates seizures is related to blood supply of the brain.

Seizures arise from small brain areas with disfunctional brain tissue ( scar tissue, hippocampal sclerosis eg.), when other organic cause is excluded ( vessels malformation, tumors).

These areas most probably are result of low oxygen supply.

TBI worsens the oxygen supply of the brain, affecting thus those scar tissue areas and spreading them.

Another possibility of TBI worsening seizures is creating by direct damage new areas of seizures activity ( brain contusion, hematomas).

In the other hand, a brain that has suffered from seizures is more susceptible to damage from different factors including TBI.

Seizures alter the electric brain activity and in case of seizures there are increased demands of brain for oxygen and glucose.

TBI alters and increases brain demand too, so the result is a brain more prone to damage.

If the seizures aggravated are previous ones or new ones, this needs confirmation by clinical and functional ( EEG ) study compared to ones before the TBI.

About treatment, Levetiracetam (Keppra) is a relatively new option in controlling seizures with less side effects than old seizures treatment drugs.

This possibility needs to be discussed with your Neurologist.

Hope I helped you. Best regards.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
Answered by
Dr. Erion Spaho

Neurologist, Surgical

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3792 Questions


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