March 19, 2024

Post-Traumatic Epilepsy Associated with Long-Term Dementia Risk

Article published by News Medical Life Science

In a recent study, using data from the atherosclerosis risk in communities (ARIC) study, researchers assessed the associations between post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE) and the risk of dementia. PTE is the occurrence of unprovoked seizures more than a week after a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and it accounts for up to 20% of acquired epilepsies. Research suggests that PTE is associated with poor short-term psychosocial, cognitive, and functional outcomes; however, less is known about the long-term impact of PTE. Moreover, epilepsy and TBI are independently associated with the risk of dementia. The ARIC study enrolled people aged 45–64 and participants completed in-person visits and follow-up telephone calls. The researchers found that PTE was associated with a three-fold increased risk of dementia in models that accounted for the competing risks of death individually and with stroke. Younger participants consistently showed stronger associations between PTE and dementia risk than older subjects. Dementia risk was significantly higher with PTE than with epilepsy/seizure or head injury alone. These results highlight the significance of prevention of head injuries and PTE following these injuries.