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Study supports alternative anti-seizure medication following acute brain injury
Date:2/17/2010

CINCINNATIA study by researchers at the University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute (UCNI) at University Hospital supports the use of an alternative medication to prevent seizures in patients who have suffered a life-threatening traumatic brain injury or bleeding stroke.

This randomized study supports earlier indications that the anti-seizure medication levetiracetam, marketed as Keppra, was as effective at preventing seizures as the traditional medication, phenytoin, marketed as Dilantin, while producing fewer negative side effects. Patients treated with Keppra also had improved long-term outcomes, the researchers found.

The study will be published in the April 2010 issue of the journal, Neurocritical Care; it appeared online on Nov. 7, 2009.

The study of anti-seizure medications in the neuroscience intensive care unit (NSICU) at UC Health University Hospital is part of a focused, ongoing effort to harness scientific evidence to improve treatments and outcomes for patients. Seizures are common following severe brain injury, and minimizing or eliminating them is a primary objective of neurocritical care.

The study was led by Lori Shutter, MD, associate professor of neurosurgery and neurology and director of neurocritical care at UCNI. The published article was written by co-investigator Jerzy Szaflarski, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurology.

"We continue to make incremental, meaningful strides in the care of patients who are hospitalized in the NSICU following subarachnoid hemorrhage or traumatic brain injury," Shutter says. (A subarachnoid hemorrhage, a type of bleeding stroke, occurs when blood seeps into the subarachnoid space between the brain and the skull.)

Dilantin has traditionally been the standard of care in preventing seizures, which afflict 25 to 30 percent of patients who have suffered a traumatic brain injury or subarachnoid hemorrhage. Keppra is an established anti-seizure
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Contact: Cindy Starr
cstarr@mayfieldclinic.com
513-558-3505
University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Source:Eurekalert

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