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Open Access Craniofacial Trauma as a Clinical Marker of Seizures in a Baboon Colony

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Baboons provide a natural model of epilepsy. However, spontaneous seizures are usually sporadic, brief, and may not be observed. We hypothesized that various types of craniofacial trauma (CFT) may serve as reliable markers for epilepsy. We evaluated the type, demographics, and clinical significance of CFT in a large baboon colony. CFT was categorized according to somatotopic location, propensity to recur, and association with witnessed seizures or abnormal EEG findings. We divided the baboons with CFT into 2 groups: those with known histories of seizures (CFT+Sz, n = 176) and those without seizure histories (CFTonly; n = 515). In CFT+Sz baboons, the 568 injuries identified included periorbital (57%), scalp (27%), muzzle (12%), and facial (4%) injuries; multiple somatotopic locations or body parts were affected in 21 baboons. The most common CFT injuries associated with seizures were periorbital and scalp lesions (43% for each region). Compared with those in CFTonly animals, EEG abnormalities, including interictal epileptic discharges (IED) and photosensitivity were more prevalent in the CFT+Sz group, particularly among baboons with periorbital or scalp injuries. Compared with CFT+Sz animals, CFTonly baboons tended to have later onset and less frequent recurrence of CFT but higher prevalence of muzzle and tooth injuries. IED and photosensitivity were less prevalent in the CFTonly than the CFT+Sz group, with periorbital injuries carrying the highest and muzzle injuries the lowest association with IED or photosensitivity in both groups. Therefore, CFT in general and periorbital injuries in particular may be markers for seizures in baboons.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Neurology and South Texas Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at San Antonio, USA. [email protected] 2: Department of Neurology and South Texas Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at San Antonio, USA 3: Laboratory Animal Research, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, USA 4: Southwest National Primate Research Center, USA 5: Southwest National Primate Research Center, Department of Genetics, Texas, USA; Biomedical Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas, USA

Publication date: April 1, 2014

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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