Posted by: dlip | July 30, 2013

How Common Are Seizures After a Stroke?

By now I have known a number of people who have suffered from a stroke, some mild and others much worse. All seem to have an increased tendency towards seizures.

One friend had several repeated seizures because the doctors couldn’t find the right balance of medications. Researching the subject on the internet revealed that a study reported that approximately 10% of all ischemic stroke survivors suffer at least one seizure by the 5th year after their stroke. The risk for hemorrhagic strokes was higher, as approximately 27% of patients with intracerebral hemorrhage and 34% of patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage, suffered at least one seizure during the same time period.

How Common is Epilepsy After a Stroke? The incidence of new onset epilepsy after a stroke is much lower than the incidence of seizures. Epilepsy after stroke is reported to occur in only 2 to 4% of stroke survivors. Yet, as whole, stroke is the most commonly identified cause of epilepsy in adults older than 35 and accounts for more than 50% of all new cases of epilepsy of known cause in the elderly population.

What Medications Are There to Treat Stroke-Related Epilepsy? Luckily, stroke-related epilepsy can typically be controlled with antiseizure medicines. But it is important for a caregiver to note and report minor episodes to the doctor.

The oldest and most commonly used medicines for this purpose are phenytoin (dilantin) and carbamazepine (tegretol) (Lamictal), but of course as always your doctor knows best what medicines to prescribe and how these will interact with other prescription medications that the stroke patient has to take.

(Ref. About.com: http://stroke.about.com/od/unwantedeffectsofstroke/a/seizures.htm)

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