Baby Brain Bleeds and Epilepsy

Seizures in children and infants may be common after bleeding in brain tissue

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) About half of all strokes in infants and children result in bleeding in the brain. According to past studies, this bleeding may have a link to epilepsy.  

A recent study investigated seizures in children who had experienced intracerebral hemorrhages, or bleeding in the brain.

Results showed that one-third of these children and infants in the United States later experienced seizures.

Thirteen percent of the children and infants were diagnosed with epilepsy within two years of the brain hemorrhage.

"Ask your doctor about the risks of childhood stroke."

Lauren A. Beslow, MD, MSCE, of Yale University, and colleagues followed 73 children and infants who suffered from bleeding in the brain. This bleeding in the brain is a type of stroke called intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH).

Fifty-three of the study participants were children between 28 days and 18 years old. The remaining 20 study participants were less than 28 days old.

The children and infants were studied at three different care centers between 2007 and 2012.

Seizures that occurred within seven days of the patient having ICH were recorded and classified as acute symptomatic seizures. Seizures that took place more than seven days after ICH were recorded and classified as remote symptomatic seizures.

The authors speculated that remote symptomatic seizures may be signs of epilepsy in development.

The researchers analyzed the data to determine the risk of seizure and epilepsy after ICH.

Infants were more likely to suffer from seizures after ICH than children. Acute symptomatic seizures were visible in 60 percent of newborns and 43 percent of children.

High blood pressure in the brain that required treatment indicated a greater likelihood of seizures and epilepsy.

Of 32 patients who were monitored continuously with electroencephalographic (EEG), a common diagnostic technique used for epilepsy, 28 percent had seizures that were not visible to the eye. The effects of these subtle seizures are not well known.

Dr. Beslow points out that, while a thirteen percent rate of epilepsy at two years seems low, the risk may increase with time after the two year mark.

The study was presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2013.

Funding was provided by The National Institutes of Health and the L. Morton Morley Funds of the Philadelphia Foundation.

The authors reported associations with medical and research institutions.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
February 14, 2013
Last Updated:
February 21, 2013