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Changes After a Brain Injury

Seizures after a Brain Injury

​​Sometimes a person with a brain injury will go on to have seizures. We don’t always know who will develop post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE) after a brain injury. We do know that the risk goes up the worse the head injury. You can develop the PTE even years after the head injury.

There are many types of seizures. Some of the actions/behaviours you may see during a seizure include one or more of the following:

  • the eyes may be open and/or roll back
  • may lose bowel and/or bladder control
  • may pat a part of his body or pick at his ​clothes while looking like he’s daydreaming
  • jaws and hands may clench
  • may jerk involuntarily or shake one of his body parts; this jerking or shaking may spread to other body parts and may become generalized
  • He’s not usually aware of any activity during the seizure.
  • If his breathing sounds like he’s snoring, it means that the seizure is almost over.
  • When the seizure is over, he may be confused, his speech may be slurred, he may feel sleepy, or may say he has a headache

Keep a diary of all seizures. Write down the date, time of day, what he was doing before, during, and after the seizure, and how long the seizure lasted. This information can help the doctor who’s treating him for his seizures. For more information on helping someone during a seizure, go to Helping a Person During a Seizure.

Medicine to control seizures (anti-convulsants)

Medicine is the main way to stop, reduce, or control seizures. Blood work has to be done for some of the medicines used to check the level in the body. All medicine can have side effects; it’s important to know what they are. The benefits of taking the medicine are weighed against the risk of not taking the medicine.

Ask your nurse, doctor, or pharmacist for more information on how to safely take anti convulsant medicine.

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