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Seizures can happen after a brain injury. This is called post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE). Not everyone develops PTE after a brain injury. But the risk of it happening is higher the worse the head injury is. PTE sometimes develops years after a head injury.

Signs of a seizure

There are many types of seizures. Signs of a seizure include:

  • eyes that are rolled back
  • loss of bowel or bladder control
  • patting a part of the body
  • picking at clothes while appearing to daydream
  • clenched jaws and hands
  • jerking or shaking of a body part that may spread to other body parts or all over the body
  • lack of awareness or response during the seizure

If you hear breathing that sounds like snoring, the seizure is likely almost over. After a seizure is over, they may be confused or sleepy, have slurred speech, or have a headache

Medicine to control seizures

Medicines to control seizures are called anticonvulsants. They are the main way to stop, lessen, or control seizures. It’s important to have blood tests to make sure that you have the right level of medicine is in your body to help control seizures.

All medicines can have side effects so it’s important to know what they are. The benefits of taking an anticonvulsant are compared against the risks of not taking it.

For more questions about taking an anticonvulsant, talk to a doctor, pharmacist, or nurse.

Tips for family and caregivers

Keep a diary of all seizures. Write down the date, time of day, what they were doing before, during, and after the seizure, and how long the seizure lasted. Give this information to their healthcare team.

Find out more about seizures and helping a person during a seizure.

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