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High risk of epilepsy ten years after brain injury

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Children and young people who suffer a brain injury have a high risk of epilepsy more than ten years after the injury occurred, latest study results suggest.

Danish researchers studied the relative risks of epilepsy following traumatic brain injury in over one million children and young people born in Denmark between 1977 and 2002.

They found that the risk of epilepsy more than doubled for mild brain injury or skull fracture, and was seven times more likely in patients with serious brain injury.

Even over ten years after the injury, those with mild brain injury had a one-and-a-half times higher risk of epilepsy, skull fractures doubled the risk, and severe brain injury increased the risk of epilepsy by four-and-a-half times, the researchers said.

The risk was even more pronounced in people aged over 15 years, they added, with mild injury increasing the risk of epilepsy by three-and-a-half times, and severe injury by more than 12 times.

‘Traumatic brain injury is a significant risk indicator for epilepsy many years after the injury. Our data suggests a long time interval for potential, preventative treatment of high-risk patients,’ the authors said online in The Lancet.

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