Soldiers with Brain Injury Risk Epilepsy

BETHESDA, Md., July 27 (UPI) — Soldiers have an increased risk of epilepsy decades after receiving a traumatic brain injury, U.S. researchers found.

Study author Jordan Grafman of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, Md., says post-traumatic epilepsy is the most common cause of new-onset epilepsy in young adults, with nearly 30,000 new cases per year in the United States.

Grafman and colleagues asked 199 veterans who experienced a brain injury 35 years prior whether they ever had a seizure. The study participants were also given intelligence tests and underwent scans to detect brain lesions.

The study, published in the journal Neurology, finds of the 199 people, about 44 percent developed post-traumatic epilepsy.

“For a surprising 13 percent, the post-traumatic epilepsy didn’t show up until more than 14 years after the brain injury,” Grafman says in a statement. “This research strongly suggests that veterans with brain injury will require long-term neurology care.”

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