Do seizures cause brain damage?
No, not usually. Brain damage may occur if the seizures last for a prolonged period of time (over thirty minutes) and then only rarely. Recurrent seizures may make it easier for seizures to recur. The “kindling theory” suggests that the more seizures a person has, the more likely it is that seizures will recur. Does Brain Damage Cause a Seizure? Yes, brain damage can cause a seizure. Seizures are more common in children who had bleeding in their brains at birth or who have cerebral palsy or tumors, or who are mentally retarded. Can my Child Die from a Seizure? Yes, but the chance of your child dying from a seizure is very, very small. Death could occur if your child stops breathing during the seizure for more than five minutes. Why Do Children Get Seizures? Children get seizures from a variey of causes. These are some of the most common: • Trauma, such as accidents, falls, being hit in the head • Congenital (present from birth) brain defects, like bleeding in the brain, disorders of br
“Conditions that irritate the brain—such as injuries, certain drugs, sleep deprivation, infections, fever—or that deprive the brain of oxygen or fuel—such as abnormal heart rhythms, a low level of oxygen in the blood, or a very low level of sugar in the blood—can trigger a single seizure whether a person has a seizure disorder or not.” These symptoms or triggers can lead to possible brain damage. Also a person experiencing status epilepsy can develop brain damage. The link below may have helpful information.
Even if people have them over many years, short seizures do not cause any damage to the brain. Long ones (usually 10 minutes or more) can cause brain damage in some people, though. For this reason, doctors consider a seizure that lasts for five minutes or more a medical emergency, even for children who have them regularly.
Children with epilepsy are at significant risk for cognitive impairment and behavioral abnormalities. In most children with epilepsy, the likely reason for cognitive impairment is the underlying pathology responsible for the seizures. However, there is considerable controversy about whether seizures per se can cause brain damage or increase subsequent susceptibility to seizure. Although some longitudinal studies have related a decline in intellectual abilities to continued seizures, other studies indicate that treatment with antiepileptic drugs or progression of the encephalopathic process is responsible for the decline. Both clinical and animal studies have focused on the long-term effects of seizures on the developing brain. Whereas prolonged seizures may cause permanent neurologic sequelae in the mature animal, the immature brain may be more resistant to the long-term sequelae of seizures.