The "Invisible" Consequences of Traumatic Brain Injury

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A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have devastating long-term effects on a person. TBI is a leading cause of acquired epilepsy and is the most common cause of new onset symptomatic epilepsy in adolescents and young adults. In veterans, 57% of seizures can be linked to TBI.* Unfortunately, because seizures can develop weeks, months, or even years later, physicians don’t always connect the dots, which can delay treatment.

Former Marine Alec Beauseigneur-Jimenez knows this all too well. He was injured in a training accident in May 2015, causing extensive damage to his hand and a concussion. The medical team’s focus was on the severe injury to his right hand, prompting multiple surgeries. However little attention was paid to the concussion. Unknown to his doctors, Alec had suffered brain damage.

Months later Alec experienced a tonic-clonic seizure and was taken to the hospital. Yet, even at that point, he was not diagnosed with epilepsy. Nearly two more years passed before Alec experienced another tonic-clonic seizure and was finally diagnosed with post-traumatic epilepsy. On this episode of Seizing Life, Alec and his mother recount his long journey from injury to PTE diagnosis, how his seizures have changed his life, and his drive to maintain independence.

LEARN MORE ABOUT PTE & CURE Epilepsy

With a $10 million grant from the Department of Defense, CURE Epilepsy’s PTE research program aims to develop better models to study PTE and discover methods to predict who is at risk as a way to intervene early and prevent PTE. Learn More: https://www.cureepilepsy.org/news/cure-initiative-defending-against-post-traumatic-epilepsy/

Further explore the relationship between TBI and PTE, particularly in Vietnam veterans, in this Seizing Life episode: Post-Traumatic Epilepsy: A Lasting Impact on Our Veterans: https://www.cureepilepsy.org/seizing-life/post-traumatic-epilepsy-a-lasting-impact-on-our-veterans/

Former football star and broadcaster Mike Adamle discusses managing PTE and memory issues resulting from sports injuries on this Seizing Life episode: Mike Adamle Tackles Life with PTE and CTE: https://www.cureepilepsy.org/seizing-life/mike-adamle-tackles-life-with-pte-and-cte/

For more information about epilepsy and what CURE Epilepsy is doing to find a cure, please visit: https://www.cureepilepsy.org/

*SOURCE: M. Salinsky, D. Storzbach, E. Goy, C.Evrard, Traumatic brain injury and psychogenic seizures in veteran, J Head Trauma Rehabil, 30 (2015), pp. E65-E70

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Comments

Jr Kline says:

Two craneotomies could be the reason for Seizures

Jr Kline says:

Two craneotomies to repair: remove an AVM. áreas on for petit FOCAL seizures? Even taking LAMICTAL?
Ohhhhh I have an AURA! but not as I am sleeping.
I

John May says:

Thank you for sharing your story it means a lot .I said that the rest of your life goes well !

Blake Rolfe says:

It took 6 months before I got an mri for my accident. I also have long term effects. With my eyes and hearing / and was told I was faking by the Canadian worker compensation and was told that they are not there for the worker but for the employer. I have memory issues and can’t remember how I know people have a temper at points that just snaps and it’s scares me so dang much and I try my hardest to control that but if I’m in any stress or a stressful environment my mind starts going blank and I forgot what I’m doing or even talking about…. now when I go to sign my signature I freeze half way through and it feels like my brains not responding at that point. I have partial seizures. I’m a misdiagnosed case and there are so many in Canada now because of this negligence on the doctors parts. Went to see a neurologist and he spent 2mins bumping areas with a triangle rod I forget what it is called but that was the appointment then wrote a 12 page essay on how I was faking. Now I have the hardest time each day and some days makes me cry because I know the person I am now is not the person people knew and have lost friends , work and life goals and have to start from scratch each day pushing just to be happy and not hateful towards the world. I have copies of the records even from the behavioural and personality experts and didn’t know till I looked back that the things stated were very much fabricated but I thought they made a false report but it was actually my brain fabricating what it could. I was a passenger in a crane truck which is a semi and the driver hit an overpass with the crane and I took a hefty hit to the head and upper body. I can feel my seizures coming in days before by the pain in my head is always there but when one is coming it’s my frontal lobes and back cerebellum vibrate with a pain it’s hard to explain.

Benjamin Ortiz says:

Your mother looks like she could be your younger sister

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Backpack Dad says:

I literally cried watching this. I’m living through this. I sustained a TBI from a fall that led to me developing PTE. I feel more pain because I have to put my wife through this. I feel grief everyday because of the trauma my children and wife have endured through these last 2 years. It’s been dark and up until lately it’s been getting a little brighter but I live with fear everyday. I try my hardest not too but after spending most of 2019 in a hospital….my wife almost seeing the traumatic effect of epilepsy numerous times…now I feel like a rat in cage. That’s why I started hiking and joined in some online support groups but COVID has made everything harder. Including fear of going to the hospital after a seizure. And the memory issues are horrible I feel his pain.

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Shasta Luv says:

This young man is brave beyond what you can EVER imagine. To know Alec, is to love him and embrace him as he has triumphantly come so far in this journey. I love you to pieces 🧡🙏🏾

Al H says:

Thank you Alec and Katie for telling Alec’s story. And…thank you Alec for your service. I am truly sorry for all you’ve been through since your accident. You’re a strong man with an equally strong mother, who is a natural caregiver. I remember all the love and care you gave your grandparents Katie, and always appreciated that you were there for them. You were a blessing to them, as you are to Alec now. During the dark days that come, always keep your eye on the prize!

Beth Grauer says:

You both are an inspiration to so many.

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