In the United States, almost 3 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year. The vast majority of these injuries are categorized as mild (?90%) and do not require hospitalization. Mild TBI is also frequently categorized as concussion, and it remains controversial as to whether, and to what extent mild TBI is a risk for the development of post-traumatic epilepsy.
It is well established, on the other hand, that severe TBI can lead to the development of a range of negative sequela in humans, including epilepsy. Moreover, the epileptogenic effects of severe TBI have been confirmed in rodents following controlled cortical impact and fluid percussion injury. In both rodent models [of PTE], a craniectomy is performed to expose the dura, and injury is induced either by a rigid impact device or hydraulically induced pressure. Both models can produce severe injuries, including neuronal loss, hemorrhage, extensive inflammatory changes, and mortality. These models have provided a wealth of data about potential epileptogenic mechanisms of severe TBI, but do not provide insight into the effects of mild TBI on epileptogenesis.
To address this gap in knowledge, Shandra and colleagues developed a closed-head model of post-traumatic epilepsy in mice following repetitive, mild TBI.