Seizures following a brain injury is one of the largest concerns in the immediate aftermath of a traumatic brain injury. Now, results from an animal study conducted by the University of Washington, with assistance from the University of Minnesota, and Washington University in St. Louis, has shown that mild cooling of the brain after a brain injury helps prevent the development of epileptic seizures later on.
Epilepsy can only be brought on, as far as we know, by genetics or brain damage, and TBI is one of the leading causes of acquired epilipsy in young adults, which is often not easy to manage with antiepileptic drugs.
The lead author of the study, Raimondo D’Ambrosio, associate professor of neurological surgery, says, “These findings demonstrate for the first time that prevention of epileptic seizures after traumatic brain injury is possible, and that epilepsy prophylaxis in patients could be achieved more easily than previously thought.”
The next step will likely be attempting to verify the findings in human patients, but the cooling of the brain just 2 degrees Celsius for 5 weeks almost entirely abolished the later development of seizure activity in mice.