Posttraumatic Epilepsy More Likely to Be Drug Resistant

Lowest quality of life reported for those with posttraumatic epilepsy, drug-resistant epilepsy

HealthDay News — Individuals with posttraumatic epilepsy (PTE) are more likely to have drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE), and they report lower quality of life, according to a study published online April 6 in Neurology.

James J. Gugger, MD, PharmD, from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues examined quality of life across distinct epilepsy phenotypes in a cohort of post-9/11 veterans with high rates of traumatic brain injury. Data were included for 529 survey respondents with epilepsy: 249 controls, 124 with drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE), 86 with PTE, and 70 with drug-resistant posttraumatic epilepsy (PT-DRE).

The researchers found that compared with those with nontraumatic epilepsy, DRE was more common among those with PTE (45 vs 33%; odds ratio, 1.6). Significantly more comorbid conditions were reported among patients with PTE and PT-DRE than those with nontraumatic epilepsy. Across all six quality-of-life measures, those with both PTE and DRE reported the lowest quality of life; after adjustment for comorbidities, this finding persisted.

“People with epilepsy associated with traumatic brain injuries have complex health states that frequently include other conditions that are also associated with both traumatic brain injury and epilepsy and that may result in a greater chance of having both poor quality of life and lower life expectancy,” a coauthor said in a statement. “We believe a deeper understanding of the factors affecting quality of life in people with posttraumatic epilepsy may help us identify those at the greatest risk and then identify effective treatments.”

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