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Biomarker Identified for Predicting Increased Risk of Developing Post Traumatic Epilepsy

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Approximately 5 – 30% of patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) develop post traumatic epilepsy (PTE). The onset of seizures in patients who are susceptible to PTE can range from weeks or months to more than a decade after TBI. In a presentation today at the 64th American Epilepsy Society annual meeting, scientists report that the analysis of routine MRI scans can reliably quantify the disruptions in the blood brain barrier that are increasingly believed to be a prominent contributor to epilepsy development.

Investigators at the University of Colorado used MRI imaging to differentiate brain injured and sham injured laboratory animals. At three months post-injury, the animals were administered a substance known to provoke seizures. The investigators found that the degree of blood brain barrier disruption (BBBD) observed in the images was significantly correlated with the total number of seizures occurring in the first 60 minutes after the substance was administered, as well as correlating with how soon after drug administration the seizures began. (Platform A.05)

According to Dr. Lauren Frey, lead author of the report, “The significant correlation we found between the images and post-injury seizure susceptibility supports the presence of blood brain barrier disruption as a biomarker for posttraumatic epileptogenesis.”

A biomarker that identifies brain injured patients at risk of developing PTE could aid in research aimed at finding a preventive therapy; and, once such a therapy is available, assist in selecting at-risk patients for preventive care.

Source: Newswise