10. Post-Traumatic Seizure Disorder

Robert Teasell MD FRCPC, Shannon Janzen MSc, Heather MacKenzie MD, Victoria Miller BHSc, Shawn Marshall MSc MD FRCPC, Nora Cullen MSc MD FRCPC

Chapter 10 Abbreviations

In 2010, there were approximately 2.5 million traumatic brain injuries (TBI), either in combination with other injuries or as an isolated injury (National Hospital Discharge Survey 2010). Post-traumatic seizures (PTS), although identified as a serious consequence of 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).

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

Seizure: Discrete clinical events that reflect 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 Seizure: 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 October 2014

Contact Information: ERABI; Parkwood Institute; 550 Wellington Rd, London ON; 519-685-4292 x44559