Robert Teasell MD FRCPC, Shannon Janzen MSc, Rachel Anderson BSc, Heather MacKenzie MD, Pavlina Faltynek MSc, Shawn Marshall MSc MD FRCPC, Nora Cullen MSc MD FRCPC
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.
A seizure due to TBI occurring within the first 24 hours of injury.
A seizure due to TBI occurring within the first week of injury.
A seizure due to TBI occurring after the first week of injury.
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.
Episodic behavioural events that superficially resemble epileptic attacks but are not associated with paroxysmal activity within the brain.
In the context of post-traumatic seizures, antiepileptic drug treatment administered to prevent seizures in patients who have not manifested seizures.
A condition characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures.
Results, in the form of one or more specific recommendations, from a scientifically based analysis of a specific clinical problem.
Updated August 2016
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