Health professionals are key in helping veterans receive high-quality care for traumatic brain injury (TBI) and epilepsy.
- 15–34% of TBI patients have post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE), and active military rates can be as high as 52%.
- 48,000–169,000 soldiers that served in Iraq and Afghanistan are expected to develop PTE.
- Early diagnosis and treatment are important but military members tend to under-report mild TBI to avoid removal from combat situations or active duty and go undiagnosed.
- Diagnosing PTE is a multi-step process and treating epilepsy involves many different people. The team may include the primary care physician, nurse, social worker and specialists such as a neurologist.
Continuing education for providers is critical to veterans receiving the best possible care for their post-traumatic epilepsy.
Epilepsy Centers of Excellence (ECoE) are funded by the Veterans Administration (VA) and provide a variety of services including educating health professionals on epilepsy, TBI, PTE, drug therapies and additional critical health information. http://www.epilepsy.va.gov/Provider_Education.asp