Post-traumatic epilepsy linked to poorer quality of life

Published: April 19 2022
Last updated: May 12 2023

Post-traumatic epilepsy, occurring after brain injury, is linked to a lower quality of life than non-traumatic epilepsies, according to a US study in the journal Neurology.

Dr Gugger and his colleagues carried out a survey of 529 people who went through the events of 9/11, many of whom had experienced traumatic brain injury. The respondents were split into four groups: epilepsy controlled with medicines (249), hard-to-treat (known as drug resistant) epilepsy (124), post-traumatic epilepsy (86) and hard-to-treat post-traumatic epilepsy (70).

The study authors found that hard-to-treat epilepsy was more common in people with post-traumatic epilepsy than with non-traumatic epilepsy. People with post-traumatic epilepsy and hard-to-treat post-traumatic epilepsy had significantly more additional health conditions alongside their epilepsy than the groups with non-traumatic epilepsy. The poorest quality of life scores were reported by people with both post-traumatic and hard-to-treat epilepsy.

The researchers concluded that people with post-traumatic epilepsy are especially vulnerable to having other health conditions linked to their epilepsy and their traumatic brain injury. They said this “at-risk group” should be the focus of future studies looking into factors linked with poorer health and finding treatments that could stop epilepsy from developing, following a traumatic brain injury.

The study is available on the Neurology website.