Committed To Veteran Health
Those who have served in the armed forces who are also living with epilepsy deserve the finest care possible. At Epilepsy Foundation New England, we’re committed to connecting our veterans with the support and resources they need to keep going strong.
To meet the needs of veterans living with epilepsy and related psychosocial issues the VA created the Epilepsy Centers of Excellence (ECoE), located at 16 sites across the VA health care system that are organized into four regional centers.
The ECoE’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of veterans living with epilepsy and other seizure disorders through the integration of clinical care, outreach, research, and education. Learn more at www.epilepsy.va.gov
Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Epilepsy
Many veterans who have experienced traumatic brain injury later go on to develop post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE), which can significantly affect quality of life for those returning to civilian life.
Diagnosing Post-Traumatic Epilepsy (PTE) is a multi-step process and treating epilepsy is best carried out by a team of dedicated health care providers (primary care physician, neurologist, epileptologist, epilepsy nurse, neuropsychologist, social worker).
- 15–34% of traumatic brain injury patients have PTE, and active military rates have been reported 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, however, military members tend to under-report mild TBI to avoid removal from combat situations or active duty and go undiagnosed.
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 traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, PTE, drug therapies and additional critical health information.
The Traumatic Brain Injury and Epilepsy Booklet was written for service members, veterans and families. This guide provides information about the relationship between traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic epilepsy. You can order a copy of the booklet here.
If you are a veteran living with PTE or another epilepsy diagnosis, you may be entitled to VA benefits.
To apply for VA benefits call 1-877-222-VETS (8387)
For military legal issues, advocacy, and pro bono legal representation for VA disability benefits, please contact The National Veterans Legal Services Program at 202-265-8305 or http://www.nvlsp.org/