Why Some Traumatic Brain Injuries Cause Seizures?

A seizure occurs when there is an abrupt and uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain. There are many causes of seizure, and one of them is a brain injury. Not all traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients suffer from seizures. Depending on the location of damage in the brain, seizures happen in around 10-50% of TBI patients. In most cases, these will occur within the first weeks following the injury, but it's not uncommon for some patients to have a seizure years after the injury happened. 

Risk of Seizure

The risk of developing a seizure, even later in life for TBI patients, will depend on the severity of the brain injury, the depression in the skull, the presence of hematoma, and the depth of wound in penetrating injuries. The risk is actually higher within the first two years post-injury, but it could gradually decline if the patient is taking medications or undergoing therapy.

According to the Epilepsy Foundation, seizures that begin at least a week after the injury often become recurrent, a condition known as Post-Traumatic Epilepsy (PTE). Half of the patients with PTE will experience a remission if they keep up their medications and therapy for at least five years.

There are also other factors that may put a TBI patient at risk of having a seizure, such as:

  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Poor sleeping conditions
  • Frequent fatigue
  • Having high-grade fever
  • Lack of sodium or magnesium in the body
  • High calcium intake
  • Stress

These conditions can be controlled or avoided with the right therapy and consistent treatment. For some, a lifestyle change, including learning stress-reducing techniques, may also be helpful. 

Warning Signs to Watch Out For

TBI patients often develop warning signs before a seizure occurs. Some refer to this as "preictal auras," which include physical indications like:

  • developing blurry vision
  • seeing stars or bright lights 
  • smelling something burning
  • tasting strange sensation in the mouth
  • forgetfulness
  • uncontrollable jerking of the limbs
  • falling on the floor for no reason
  • numbness or stiffness in the body
  • rapid eye blinking
  • incontinence

Detecting these early warning signs will help mitigate the risks, especially if interventions are made. Prompt medical intervention is often the key to saving a patient's life following a brain injury. Thereafter, timely therapy and rehabilitation in one of the best brain injury rehabilitation centers are vital to the full recovery of TBI patients.

It is essential for patients, and their family members, to learn about their condition and to understand the best measures they need to adopt to prevent seizures.

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Where to find the best neuro rehabilitation near me?

NeuLife Rehabilitation is one of the largest brain injury residential facilities specializing in rehabilitation for a wide range of catastrophic injuries. We are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) in Brain Injury Specialty Programs and Residential Rehabilitation to provide high-quality care to our patients.

Learn more about Neulife Rehab - one of the best brain injury rehabilitation centers in the area

At Neulife Rehab, our professional staff make sure that you and your family are being taken care of by the best specialists in the area. We encourage you to find out more about our facility and our programs.

NEULIFE REHABILITATION REMAINS OPEN AND DILIGENT THROUGH THE COVID-19 CRISIS. We remain open for business with the ability to admit those in need of ongoing Post-Acute Rehabilitation Services. Our first priority is the safety of our patients and valuable team members.

If you have any questions at all, we are here for you. Call us or make a referral using our easy to navigate and convenient online form. We are looking forward to helping you achieve your recovery goals.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.


Dedicated to providing the highest caliber of care to individuals with brain injuries, NeuLife Rehabilitation is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).
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