10. Post-Traumatic Seizure Disorder

Robert Teasell MD FRCPC, Shannon Janzen MSc, Rachel Anderson BSc, Heather MacKenzie MD, Shawn Marshall MSc MD FRCPC, Nora Cullen MSc MD FRCPC

Chapter 10 Abbreviations

Post-traumatic seizures (PTS), although identified as a serious consequence of traumatic brain injury (TBI), remain an understudied problem (Ferguson et al. 2010). Post-traumatic seizure disorders have been defined in the Practice Parameter of the Antiepileptic Drug Treatment of Post-traumatic Seizures by the Brain Injury Special Interest Group of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (1998) and can be found in the table below.


Table: Definitions of Post-Traumatic Seizures (Brain Injury Special Interest Group 1998) (p. 595)

Seizure: Discrete clinical event that reflects a temporary physiologic dysfunction of the brain characterized by excessive and hypersynchronous discharge of cortical neurons.

Post-Traumatic Seizure: An initial or recurrent seizure episode not attributable to another obvious cause after penetrating or non-penetrating TBI. The term encompasses both single and recurrent events.

Immediate Post-Traumatic Seizure: A seizure due to TBI occurring within the first 24 hours of injury.

Early Post-Traumatic Seizures: A seizure due to TBI occurring within the first week of injury.

Late Post-Traumatic Seizure: A seizure due to TBI occurring after the first week of injury.

Post-Traumatic Epilepsy: A disorder characterized by recurrent late seizure episodes not attributable to another obvious cause in patients following TBI.  The term should be reserved for recurrent, late post-traumatic seizures.

Nonepileptic Seizures: Episodic behavioural events that superficially resemble epileptic attacks but are not associated with paroxysmal activity within the brain.

Antiepileptic Drug Prophylaxis: In the context of post-traumatic seizures, antiepileptic drug treatment administered to prevent seizures in patients who have not manifested seizures.

Epilepsy: A condition characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures.

Practice Parameters: Results, in the form of one or more specific recommendations, from a scientifically based analysis of a specific clinical problem.


Updated August 2016

Contact Information: ERABI; Parkwood Institute; 550 Wellington Rd, London ON