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What Are Seizures Caused by Head Trauma?

Learn about seizures caused by head trauma from Steve Wolf, MD and Patty McGoldrick, NP in this Howcast video.


So, head trauma is a big concern of whether it can cause seizures or not. The most important kind of head trauma that causes seizures are the ones where the skull actually has a fracture, and that can cause damage to the brain directly. Those are the ones that we see from war veterans. So those are the penetrating wounds, where parts of the skull goes into the brain and injures the brain. There are also things like injuries from football, things that cause strokes, those sort of injuries as well. We know that repeated concussions and where they get severe head trauma on the football field, where there's blood involved, blood is such an irritant that it can cause seizures in the brain and actually cause repetitive seizures by scarring the brain. So any kind of bleeding that occurs after a head injury into the brain, subdural hematomas, that sort of thing, puts you much more at risk for having seizures. There are also contact seizures where people fall and hit their heads and have a seizure immediately after. That's not such a risk for epilepsy, that's usually just an isolated, one-time occurrence. So, basically, head trauma is a big cause of epilepsy, and these patients need to be monitored very closely, they all need to have neuroimaging, and some patients with head trauma might need to be on anti-seizure medication, some might not, so this is a discussion to have with your doctor about how much you need to monitored, be medicated, and be followed up in the office.

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