Preventing Epilepsy from Contusive Brain Injury
The most common cause of acquired epilepsy in teens and young adults is traumatic brain injury resulting from head contact. This year Associate Prof. of Neurosurgery Raimondo D’Ambrosia at the University of Washington performed an experment to test the cooling hypothesis. He gave a contusive brain injury to a group of rats. Half the rats received mock cooling for 5 weeks while the other half received head cooling within (but not exceeding) 2 degrees Celsius for 5 weeks. The sham-cooled rats showed a high degree of post-traumatic epilepsy, while the rats who had their heads cooled showed almost none. Dr. D’Ambrosia will seek permission to try the cooling treatment on humans to see if he gets the same highly protective effect.