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Epilepsy / Seizures


A seizure is the outward sign of a malfunction in the electrical system in the brain. Seizures that occur more than once, without a special cause, are called epilepsy (also called a seizure disorder). Seizures may be convulsions, brief stares, muscle spasms, odd sensations, or episodes of automatic behavior and altered consciousness. 

Based on the type of behavior and brain activity, seizures are divided into two broad categories: generalized and partial (also called local or focal). Generalized seizures are produced by abnormal electrical impulses from throughout the entire brain, whereas partial seizures are produced by abnormal electrical impulses in a relatively small part of the brain.

How Upper Cervical Care Relates to Epilepsy / Seizures

While the exact cause of seizures is unknown, medical researchers have focused upon traumatic brain injury (specifically mild concussive injury to the head, neck, or upper back) as a risk factor for seizure onset.1-24 Following the injury, seizures can be triggered immediately or can take months or years to develop.

The purpose of upper cervical chiropractic care is to reverse the trauma-induced upper neck injury; thereby reducing irritation to the nerves in the brain stem and spinal cord that can trigger neurological dysfunction. While many seizure sufferers recall specific traumas such as head injuries, auto accidents or falls, some do not. An evaluation is necessary in each individual's case to assess whether an upper cervical injury is present and whether benefit from upper cervical care can be achieved.

Case Studies

View Case Studies related to Epilepsy / Seizures

Research Articles and Publications
  1. Singer RB. Incidence of seizures after traumatic brain injury-a 50-year population survey. J Insur Med 2001; 33(1): 42-5.
  2. Hermansen MC. Potential for brief but severe intrapartum injury among neonates with early-onset seizures. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2001 Mar; 184(4): 782-3.
  3. Thorley RR, Wertsch JJ, Klingbeil GE. Acute hypothalamic instability in traumatic brain injury: a case report. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2001 Feb; 82(2): 246-9.
  4. Engstrom ER, Hillered L, Flink R. Extracellular amino acid levels measured with intracerebral microdialysis in the model of posttraumatic epilepsy induced by intracortical iron injection. Epilepsy Res 2001 Feb; 43(2): 135-44.
  5. Chiaretti A, DeBenedictis R, Polidori G. Early post-traumatic seizures in children with head injury. Childs Nerv Syst 2000 Dec; 16(12): 862-6.
  6. Diaz-Arrastia R, Agostini MA. Neurophysiologic and neuroradiologic features of intractable epilepsy after traumatic brain injury in adults. Arch Neurol 2000 Nov; 57(11): 1611-6.
  7. Annegers JF, Coan SP. The risks of epilepsy after traumatic brain injury. Seizure 2000 Oct; 9(7): 453-7.
  8. Barlow KM, Spowart JJ, Minns RA. Early posttraumatic seizures in non-accidental head injury: relation to outcome. Dev Med Child Neurol 2000 Sep; 42(9): 591-4.
  9. The Brain Trauma Foundation. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons. The Joint Section on Neurotrauma and Critical Care. Role of antiseizure prophylaxis following head injury. J Neurotrauma 2000 Jun-Jul; 17(6-7): 549-53.
  10. Iudice A, Murri L. Pharmacological prophylaxis of post-traumatic epilepsy. Drugs 2000 May; 59(5): 1091-9.
  11. Spitz MC, Towbin JA, Shantz D. Closed head injury resulting in paradoxical improvement of a seizure disorder. Seizure 2000 Mar; 9(2): 142-4.
  12. Schierhout G, Roberts I. Anti-epileptic drugs for preventing seizures following acute traumatic brain injury. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2000; (2): CD000173.
  13. Rosenberg HJ, Rosenberg SD, Williamson PD. A comparative study of trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder prevalence in epilepsy patients and Psychogenic nonepileptic seizure patients. Epilepsia 2000 Apr; 41(4): 447-52.
  14. Fernandez-Dominguez A, Morales-Chacon L, Garcia-Cruz A. Typical absence epilepsy in a patient with serious cranio-encephalic trauma. Rev Neurol 1999 Feb 1-15: 28(3): 240-2.
  15. Pakapnis A, Paolicchi J. Psychogenic seizures after head injury in children. J Child Neurol 2000 Feb; 15(2): 78-80.
  16. Clear D, Chadwick DW. Seizures provoked by blows to the head. Epilepsia 2000 Feb; 41(2): 243-4.
  17. Schutze M, Dauch WA, Guttinger M. Risk factors for posttraumatic fits and epilepsy. Zentralbl Neurochir 1999; 60(4): 163-7.
  18. Chadwick D. Seizures and epilepsy after traumatic brain injury. Lancet 2000 Jan 29; 355(9201): 334-6.
  19. Vespa PM, Nuwer MR, Nenov V. Increased incidence and impact of nonconvulsive and convulsive seizures after traumatic brain injury as detected by continuous electroencephalogranic monitoring. J Neurosurg 1999 Nov; 91(5): 750-60.
  20. Angeleri F, Majkowski J, Cacchio G. Posttraumatic epilepsy risk factors: one-year prospective study after head injury. Epilepsia 1999 Sep; 40(9): 1222-30.
  21. Dias MS, Carnevale F, Li V. Immediate posttraumatic seizures: is routine hospitalization necessary? Pediatr Neurosurg 1999 May; 30(5): 232-8.
  22. Piccinelli M, Patterson M, Braithwaite I. Anxiety and depression disorders 5 years after severe injuries: a prospective follow-up study. J Psychosom Res 1999 May; 46(5): 455-64.
  23. Asikainen I, Kaste M, Sarna S. Early and late posttraumatic seizures in traumatic brain injury rehabilitation patients: brain injury factors causing late seizures and influence of seizures on long-term outcome. Epilepsia 1999 May; 40(5): 584-9.
  24. Ratan SK, Kulshreshtha R, Pandey RM. Predictors of posttraumatic convulsions in head-injured children. Pediatr Neurosurg 1999 Mar; 30(3): 127-31.

The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.