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Post-traumatic epilepsy changes lives

After you got into an accident, you noticed changes in yourself. You'd forget lengths of time completely. You'd forget words and have trouble speaking.

You knew something was wrong, so you had tests performed. You finally got a diagnosis: post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE).

Epilepsy is a seizure disorder. Patients suffer from it for many reasons ranging from genetics to head trauma. Epileptics have seizures, but not all of them have seizures often. Depending on the severity of seizures, individuals may have a range of symptoms.

Some people who suffer head injuries have seizures initially but then stop or have very few in the future. Others have persistent seizures for the rest of their lives. There are medications that can help, but even then, there's a risk that the seizures could break through and cause trouble in their lives.

Seizures cause many symptoms such as memory loss, difficulty naming objects, problems communicating, tremors and others. The symptoms you suffer greatly depend on the area of the brain that is disrupted. It's most common for seizures in the temporal lobe to cause memory loss because of damage to the hippocampus. Comparatively, those with seizures in the Broca's area may find it hard to communicate. Those with seizures on the right side of the brain might have no speech issues at all.

Some people who develop these types of seizures do recover and have them go into remission, while others require medical care throughout life. Regardless of how you became disabled, you can pursue disability compensation and get the benefits you need while you recover.

Source: Epilepsy, "Thinking, Memory And Epilepsy," accessed Feb. 15, 2018

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