Studies of veterans who suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) during combat in the Vietnam War have revealed a greatly increased risk of developing epilepsy, including regular seizures, in the decades following a severe head injury, according to a recent article from the National Institutes of Health.
The researchers followed the health of 1,221 Vietnam War veterans for many years after their combat tours ended and they returned to the U.S. Most of the veterans had suffered a penetrative injury, in which shrapnel or another object had broken through the skull and injured their brains.
Researchers administered brain scans and tests of thinking, communication, memory, and motor function at regular intervals in the 30 or so years after the veterans’ injuries, tracking their brain health over the long term.
The researchers noticed early in the study that just over half of the veterans had also developed post-traumatic epilepsy after their TBIs. As the years went by, the rate of epileptic seizures in the study group increased, with some veterans developing post-traumatic epilepsy years after their injuries. The study tentatively concludes that traumatic brain injuries can have long-term consequences, one of which is epilepsy, a condition that can be disabling. However, researchers note that more research is needed to understand how TBIs cause epilepsy and the best ways to prevent or treat the condition.
Traumatic brain injuries can range from mild to severe, and may even be deadly. The more severe a TBI is, the longer the symptoms may last, and a person may be permanently disabled as a result. If you’ve suffered a brain injury in an accident, please call the experienced Georgia traumatic brain injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Wayne Grant, P.C. to learn more about your legal options. Our number is (404) 995-3955, and your initial consultation is free and confidential.