Research conducted on mice has discovered that removing the neurons created after a brain injury might help prevent patients from developing epilepsy.
When you have been in an accident or survived a massive injury, for many people, there are unfortunately lasting effects. Those effects can be emotional, psychological, or physical. If the injuries you suffered were to your head and brain, there's a one in ten chance that you will suffer epileptic seizures after the fact according to UTSA Today.
After suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI) many patients will naturally have scar tissue form inside their brain. That's what can cause the sufferer of the injury to start having seizures. The new neurons that develop after suffering a TBI do not migrate or develop normally. That eventually tends to be what causes someone to develop epilepsy.
However, researchers at The University of Texas at San Antonio have discovered that removing those new neurons could well halt or slow down the development of epilepsy. The professors leading the study have conducted the experiment on mice and witnessed promising results. So promising that they are starting to feel pretty confident doing the same procedure on humans who have suffered seizures after a TBI would warrant the same results.
The need to find a way to treat this is more prevalent than ever. According to the Centers for Disease and Control, TBI-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths have increased by 53%. Plus, if you do suffer a seizure after suffering a TBI, you have an 80% chance of suffering another. The aim of this research is to remove new neurons after that first seizure in order to reduce the risk of you suffering another.
"While we cannot stop the first seizures, we can try to prevent the secondary seizures. This is very exciting and may lead to new therapeutic strategies," explained Jenny Hsieh, one of the lead professors on the study. Since this potentially groundbreaking new epilepsy prevention treatment is still in its very early stages, it will be a while before we see it put into practice on people, but these early findings are extremely promising.