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The impact of posttraumatic seizures on 1-year neuropsychological and psychosocial outcome of head injury

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 February 2009

Alan M. Haltiner
Affiliation:
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195
Nancy R. Temkin
Affiliation:
Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195 Department of Bioslatistics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195
H. Richard Winn
Affiliation:
Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195
Sureyya S. Dikmen
Affiliation:
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195 Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195

Abstract

This study examined the relationship of posttraumatic seizures and head injury severity to neuropsychological performance and psychosocial functioning in 210 adults who were prospectively followed and assessed 1 year after moderate to severe traumatic head injury. Eighteen percent (n = 38) of the patients experienced 1 or more late seizures (i.e., seizures occurring 8 or more days posttrauma) by the time of the 1-year followup. As expected, the head injured patients who experienced late posttraumatic seizures were those with the most severe head injuries, and they were significantly more impaired on the neuropsychological and psychosocial measures compared to those who remained seizure free. However, after the effects of head injury severity were controlled, there were no significant differences in neuropsychological and psychosocial outcome at 1 year as a function of having seizures. These findings suggest that worse outcomes in patients who develop posttraumatic seizures up to 1 year posttrauma largely reflect the effects of the brain injuries that cause seizures, rather than the effect of seizures. (JINS, 1996, 2, 494–504.)

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The International Neuropsychological Society 1996

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