Traumatic brain injury patients who are treated with certain drug therapies immediately after their injury are much less likely to later develop epilepsy, according to a new study. The research, which appears in the Annals of Neurobiology, was conducted by scientists at the University of California, Riverside.
Previous research has shown that individuals who suffer brain injuries are at increased risk of developing epilepsy later in life. This occurs because the brain’s immune response to an injury makes the TLR4 innate immune receptor, located in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus, more excitable. This excitability can eventually lead to epilepsy.
For the new study, which was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, researchers used rats to study both the neurological and the immune system response to concussions. They found that using drugs to suppress the TLR4 receptor within a day or two of the injury can significantly reduce the risk of epilepsy later in life. They also discovered that brain injuries cause the immune system to operate through different mechanisms in the brain than it normally does.
The authors of the study believe that understanding these differences can help them develop better epilepsy treatments in the future. They also plan to conduct future studies on other common complications associated with traumatic brain injury, including memory problems, cognitive difficulties and altered social behaviors.
Individuals who suffer a brain injury due to the negligent actions of another party have the right to pursue justice in civil court. With the help of an attorney, it may be possible to gather evidence proving that the at-fault party was responsible for the victim’s injury. This evidence could then be used as the basis for a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for current and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and more.