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Seizures Likely Sign of Brain Injury After Stroke

Patients face 30% risk of dying within month, study finds

THURSDAY, May 29 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke patients who suffer seizures are more likely to die within 30 days than stroke patients who don't have seizures are, a new study shows.

Seizures may be a sign of significant brain injury and may occur in patients who've suffered any type of stroke. This study found that the overall incidence of seizures within 24 hours of a stroke is 3.1 percent. Patients with intracranial hemorrhages (bleeding within the brain) have a higher rate of seizures (8.4 percent) in the first 24 hours after stroke. Overall, there was a 30 percent mortality rate within the first 30 days of a stroke.

The researchers also investigated any racial differences in post-stroke seizures and found that, even though blacks are known to have higher rates of both seizures and strokes, there were no racial differences in seizure incidence or death rates.

"Patients with seizures in the setting of acute stroke may constitute a target population for the development of drugs that may prevent seizures," study author Dr. Jerzy P. Szaflarski, said in a prepared statement.

"Because patients with stroke have high incidence of immediate and long-term seizures and epilepsy, they constitute a population where seizure prevention with anti-epileptic drugs can be studied," Szaflarski said.

The study was published in the June issue of Epilepsia.

More information

The American Stroke Association has more about stroke effects.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Blackwell Publishing, news release, May 19, 2008

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