Epilepsy Talk

Head Injury and Seizures | June 10, 2017

How many of you have had a car accident…an abrupt fall…a physical assault?  If you are one of those people and you have suffered a head injury, the probability of seizure activity increases dramatically…

Seizures may develop immediately after an injury to the brain or may develop in delayed fashion, showing up months or years after the initial trauma.

Generally speaking, the risk of post traumatic seizures is related to the severity of the injury — the greater the injury, the higher the risk of developing seizures. Even mild to moderate injuries can result in seizures.

It is thought that a head injury disrupts the pathways of the brain and that an epileptic seizure can be viewed as a sort of short-circuit of the brain’s electrical functioning. During the seizure the electrical fields in the brain are overloaded, resulting in seizures.

The most commonly seen seizures related to traumatic brain injury are “generalized” seizures, which are also called “Tonic-Clonic” or “Grand Mal” seizures.

Persons who have had head trauma are twelve times as likely as the general population to suffer seizures.

Approximately 57% of head injured individuals developed epilepsy within one-year of injury. 80% of the time, they occur within the first 24-months. Longer onset epilepsy beginning more than four years after the trauma occurs in 20% of patients who developed epilepsy.

However, there is a school of thought that the “window in time” between a head trauma and when epilepsy could eventually develop allows investigators to study if medications can prevent the development of epilepsy before it starts.

The exciting hope for the future is that therapy to prevent epilepsy in head injuries can be developed.

Consider this possible futuristic approach: We know that patients with severe head trauma are at high risk to develop epilepsy.

Perhaps this group of patients could be treated with a medication that prevents the process that leads to seizure activity. This would be a wonderful advance over just waiting for the first seizure!

Experts in the field are studying how to accomplish this important goal.

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  1. hi phylis hope you are doing good I don’t know if the e mails I send you are getting to you hope thay are your friend susan


    Comment by pooterbear — June 10, 2017 @ 1:03 PM

  2. In my case seizures developed about 4 years after a car accident. It was never confirmed that this was the cause of the seizures. But when the opened my skull they removed ‘scar tissue’ (and a little bit of brain I wasn’t using much).

    I still take Dilantin (another story) but since surgery I’ve been relatively seizure free (nothing at all in the past four years). I got lucky.

    Oh, I put a hole in the windshield with my head. I was in the process of putting the seatbelt on. Probably would have never developed epilepsy if I had the seatbelt on.


    Comment by philamisan — June 10, 2017 @ 2:17 PM

  3. I had major automobile accident with my seatbelt on. My head smashed the steering wheel with major head injury and took an hour to cut me out of my car. I developed seizures 20 years later. After trying multiple seizure medications with no success. I found CBD (hemp) works great with no side effects….Yeah


    Comment by Deborah Harley — June 10, 2017 @ 6:23 PM

    • So much for seatbelts (again).

      Your experience sounds terrifying. Although, it’s fabulous that you’ve found relief with hemp oil.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 11, 2017 @ 9:46 AM

  4. I have a daughter who has epilepsy. She started with complex partial seizures. Then for 2 years, no seizures. When they returned they were grand mall.For many years she had her grand malls. It was when we met her current neurologist 7 years ago there was a light at the end of the tunnel. The first day we met and he asked “what can I do for you”? I told him we wanted a VNS. He along with a neurosurgeon did there magic. What is even more amazing is when we got the bill for $98,000 and all but $239 was written off because my daughter had no insurance. No more seizures as of the writing. I got my daughter back thanks to one very caring doctor.


    Comment by Gwen — June 10, 2017 @ 7:27 PM

    • please, what is VNS?

      I will lieke to know this very caring doctor

      Will it be posible to sent int to me / text 562-209 6548

      Thank you and god bless!
      Victims mother


      Comment by mom — June 10, 2017 @ 8:16 PM

    • Wow Gwen, you You ARE blessed. And wonderfully so.

      What a miraculous story!

      Could you share the name of your doctor and their location?

      Thanks in advance…


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 11, 2017 @ 9:49 AM

  5. I was very young (only 1yr old I think) when I was in a car accident. Car seats weren’t the best in the 80s, so I continue to wonder if the impact caused my epilepsy. According to relatives, I started showing seizures at 2yrs old.


    Comment by Jamie — June 12, 2017 @ 1:35 AM

    • It’s very possible.

      After a trauma like an impact to the head, seizures may develop immediately. Or they may develop in delayed fashion, showing up months or years after the initial trauma.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 12, 2017 @ 8:16 AM

  6. My daughter was diagnosed with Epilepsy. The neurologist was very confident about the diagnosis based, my Daughter had an EEG (no idea if it showed anything; we were tired and may have misunderstood what he said about that). MRI was negative for problems. For the past 4 months or so, I have seen weekly occurrences, making strange faces (this involved cheek twitching and lip quivering). We did not realize it could be a serious problem until she had an obvious seizure (simple partial) last week. What is troubling about my daughter condition is that we have seen many daytime seizures, and that recently the seizures seem to cluster together. No idea if there are seizures occurring at night.
    We were given a prescription for Kapra, but are still weighing the risk / rewards of giving the medication to a toddler. After returning from the hospital, my daughter experienced a round a vomiting lasting from 3 AM to 11 AM, followed by additional vomiting the following morning at around 2 AM. Nothing sense then. She has not had an appetite, is drinking fine, and otherwise appears healthy. I read a lot of blogs
    where people who shared their testimonies kept mentioning Anti-seizure Herbal medication. I searched for a website Herbalife cure I just followed the email address of Doctor Lawson that was shared on these testimonies; I got lucky when I got a reply from Dr. Lawson. I followed his instruction, used Herbal Medicine in less than 2 months, my daughter seizures reduced drastically. Within a period of 5 months, my
    daughter was cured. I went back to my neurologist, where my daughter checked up and marked epilepsy free.


    Comment by clara — July 10, 2017 @ 3:45 AM

  7. […] via Head Injury and Seizures — Epilepsy Talk […]


    Pingback by Head Injury and Seizures — Epilepsy Talk – Site Title — August 23, 2017 @ 6:26 PM

  8. I was sexually assaulted in 1999,and attempted murder with head injuries. I had my first recognized grand mal seizure in 2016.It came to light I had been having myclonic and focal for years, misdiagnosed as TBI rages and PTSD. My neuro and epileptologist have decided it was the head injury and extended loss of consciousness. No explination why it took 17 years to kick in with a vengeance.


    Comment by Cleo (@CleoGrrrl) — February 8, 2018 @ 2:21 AM

  9. Reblogged this on Karen's mixed up mind.


    Comment by karebear1967 — October 30, 2018 @ 10:35 AM

  10. Reading some of the responses, makes me think of a car accident I was in (can’t remember the year). I was going to a job interview with a career counselor, when all of a sudden, a fast driver hit the front right corner of her car so hard, her car spun around 3 times. Even though we both had our seat belts on, she hit her head against the left window and was knocked unconscious. Thankfully, some people on the side walk came over, called the paramedics, and the police, who caught the guy.
    The first thing I did was check her by calling her name. I hope that she didn’t eventually develop Epilepsy. She hit her head right were I hit mine in 4th grade.
    The one weird thing about my head injury was that when I felt the pain from the bump, all of a sudden it felt like there were little bolts of lightning going off inside my head. It felt like they were going back and forth, from my injured Left Temporal Lobe to my Right Temporal Lobe. I had my first Simple Partial seizure the next morning, and being just 9 years old my first thought was “What The **** Was That?!” I wasn’t diagnosed with Epilepsy until 7 months later.


    Comment by David Jensen — October 30, 2018 @ 11:13 AM

    • When I was passing out from my ice skating injury, I thought I “saw the light” before everything went dark.

      I wasn’t diagnosed with epilepsy until 2 years later.

      But, I think that was denial on my parent’s part. They just didn’t want to face the stigma.

      OMG. Something’s not “normal” with our daughter.

      All the while, I was walking into walls and falling down the stairs.

      “Oh. She’s just a clutz.” 😦


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 30, 2018 @ 12:44 PM

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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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