Seizures occur in one of every six stroke surviving patients and this happens about 3 years after the stroke. This was reported last thursday at the American Stroke Association’s 2016 International Stroke Conference.The researchers noted that seizures is higher among patients who survive intracerebral hemorrhage.
”We found that seizures occurred almost three times as often in stroke survivors than in people who experienced traumatic brain injury, where the rate is 5.7 percent,” said Dr. Merkler “Stroke clearly is associated with a high rate of seizures,” he reported.
Seizures following stroke is an unrecognized entity even though few researches had made mention of it, Dr. Merkler said. “There has been several small studies that indicated seizures occurred following stroke, but these studies, although retrospective and reliant on hospital coding, indicate that this is a major problem.” “Having seizures can have a profound effect on quality of life,” he said. Many countries suspended seizures patients from driving and the major one is that they are being stigmatized in the society . Dr.Merkler was able to drive home his points with the review of 620,739 individuals who survived strokes, finding that seizures occurred within 3.4 years in 15.3 percent of these patients. Among survivors of ischemic strokes, 13.5 percent later experienced seizures; 24 percent of those who survived intracerebral hemorrhages had seizures, said Alexander Merkler, MD, a neurocritical care fellow at Cornell University/Columbia University/New York Presbyterian Hospital.
Dr. Merkler also studied about 1.9 million patients who had traumatic brain injury during this period to discover the incidence of stroke among them. After correcting for demographics and comorbidities, there was an increased risk of seizure after stroke among these patients too.
Speaking on the outcome of the study, Mark J. Alberts, MD, clinical vice chair of neurology and neurotherapeutics at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, noted that the results were high “a bit on the high end” noting that previous studies suggest that the seizures rate after stroke, especially in ischemic stroke, are in the 10 percent to 15 percent range. He wants to believe that the higher figures in the current study might be due to biases that creep into retrospective data claims studies. “Clearly, there is a greater risk of seizures after surviving a stroke, and the risk of seizure would be higher in hemorrhagic stroke than in ischemic stroke,” Dr. Alberts said. He equally feels is the right thing to discuss possibility of seizures with patients who survive strokes.
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