Posttraumatic Epilepsy: A Major Problem in Desperate Need of Major Advances

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Abstract

This brief review is meant to provide an update on the data from clinical and laboratory studies that have provided insight into the mechanisms underlying the development of epilepsy following traumatic brain injury (TBI). The link between severe brain trauma and epilepsy in humans is well recognized. However, we have yet to identify an effective intervention to prevent the development of epilepsy in patients who are at risk after TBI. Laboratory studies, which have relied primarily on the fluid-percussion model, have documented long-term hyperexcitability associated with TBI, and recent studies are shedding light on the structural and electrophysiological abnormalities that may underlie epileptogenesis in this setting. Nonetheless, given the extent of the clinical problem and our current state of knowledge, this area of epilepsy research deserves far more attention.

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