April 11, 2011

Seizures May Foreshadow Brain Tumors

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Epileptic seizures may be an indicator of developing brain tumors in the years to come, according to research published online in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

The researchers based their findings off first-time admissions for epilepsy from the Oxford Record Linkage Study (ORLS) from 1963 to 1998 and national Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data for England from 1999 to 2005.

The data showed the risk for developing a brain tumor from epileptic seizures was greatest among those aged 15 to 44 when first admitted to the hospital. This data was also linked to subsequent diagnoses and deaths from brain tumors.

Those who suffered from epilepsy were also found to be 25-times more likely to develop a cancerous brain tumor and 10-times more likely to develop a non-cancerous tumor over people of the same 15 to 44 age group without epilepsy.

The risk for developing brain tumors persisted for several years following the first admission to the hospital. According to the ORLS data group, the risk was more than six-times as likely up to 14 years later, and within the HES data group, the risk was five-times greater up to seven years later.

However, the researchers note that brain tumors are actually very rare, even among epileptic patients; only occurring, overall, about 1 to 2 percent of the time within 15 to 44 year olds.

"Our study suggests that tumor as an underlying cause for epilepsy may not become apparent for several years after onset and indicates a need for ongoing vigilance," researchers of the study were quoted as saying.

SOURCE: Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, published online April 6, 2011