Traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects 2.5 million people annually within the United States alone, with over 300,000 severe injuries resulting in emergency room visits and hospital admissions. Severe TBI can result in long-term disability. Post traumatic epilepsy (PTE) is one of the most debilitating consequences of TBI, with an estimated incidence that ranges from 2% to 50% based on severity of injury. Conducting studies of PTE poses many challenges, because many subjects with TBI never develop epilepsy, and it can be more than 10 years after TBI before seizures begin. One of the unmet needs in the study of PTE is an accurate biomarker of epileptogenesis, or a panel of biomarkers, which could provide early insights into which TBI patients are most susceptible to PTE, providing an opportunity for prophylactic anticonvulsant therapy and enabling more efficient large-scale PTE studies. Several recent reviews have provided a comprehensive overview of this subject (Neurobiol Dis, 123, 2019, 3; Neurotherapeutics, 11, 2014, 231).
In this review, researchers describe acute and chronic imaging methods that detect biomarkers for PTE and potential mechanisms of epileptogenesis. They also describe shortcomings in current acquisition methods, analysis, and interpretation that limit ongoing investigations that may be mitigated with advancements in imaging techniques and analysis.