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Published: 3 January 2013

Chilled brain could mean fewer seizures

Mild cooling of the brain after a head injury could prevent a later development of epileptic seizures, say researchers, in Annals of Neurology. ‘These findings demonstrate for the first time that prevention of epileptic seizures after traumatic brain injury is possible,’ says the lead author of the study, Raimondo D’Ambrosio, associate professor of neurological surgery at the University of Washington.

He said that the prevention of epilepsy may be achieved more easily than previously thought but added that a clinical trial would be required to verify the findings in head injury patients.

Epilepsy can result from genetics or brain damage. Traumatic head injury is the leading cause of acquired epilepsy in young adults. It is often difficult to manage with antiepileptic drugs.

The mechanisms behind the onset of epileptic seizures after brain injury are not known. There is currently no treatment to cure it, prevent it, or even limit its severity.

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