In one of the longest follow-up studies performed with data from almost 500 patients, researchers found that 3.1% of people who suffered a stroke developed epilepsy. Those who experienced severe strokes had five-times the risk of developing epilepsy post-stroke compared to those with less severe strokes. Neither treatment in a specialized stroke unit, age at onset of stroke, or geographical location seemed to influence the risk of developing epilepsy after a stroke in this study.
"It is important to perform further studies to find out whether newer treatments, such as acute thrombolysis can reduce the frequency of post-stroke epilepsy," states Morten I. Lossius, Director of the Department for Education and Research of the National Centre for Epilepsy in Norway. "It is also important to try to improve the treatment of stroke patients beyond what today are known as the gold standards, which apart from thrombolysis, was followed in our study. New neuroprotective drugs and increased use of thrombolysis may play an important role in future treatment."
Researchers add it is vital that health workers are aware of the risk of post-stroke epilepsy. If they are able to detect epileptic seizures among stroke patients, treatment with anti-epileptic drugs are often effective in preventing the patient from having more seizures.
This study is published in Epilepsia. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this study please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Morten Lossius is an adult neurologist working primarily with epilepsy patients. He is director of education and research at the National Centre for Epilepsy, Norway where he is involved in a broad spectrum of research in epileptology. He can be reached for questions and interviews at + 47 99 10 11 71 or email@example.com.
About the Journal
Epilepsia is the leading, most authoritative source for current clinical and research results on all aspects of epilepsy. As the journal of the International League Against Epilepsy, Epilepsia presents subscribers with scientific evidence and clinical methodology in: clinical neurology, neurophysiology, molecular biology, neuroimaging, neurochemistry, neurosurgery, pharmacology, neuroepidemiology, and therapeutic trials. Each monthly issue features original peer reviewed articles, progress in epilepsy research, brief communications, editorial commentaries, special supplements, meeting reports, book reviews, and announcements.
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