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Musicogenic Epilepsy

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1Musicogenic Epilepsy Empty Musicogenic Epilepsy on Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:52 am


Reflexive epilepsy is a form of epilepsy in which seizures are triggered by environmental stimuli. Musicogenic epilepsy, according to Dr. Acerkman if Temken Mercy Medical Center and Doctor Martha E. Banks, is just one of many forms of reflexive epilepsy in which a seizure is triggered by music or specific frequencies.
Sensitivity to music varies from patient to patient. Some are sensitive to a particular tone from a voice or instrument. Others are sensitive to a particular musical style or rhythm. Still others are sensitive to a range of noises such as a blowtorch or revving engine.

Musicogenic Epilepsy is relatively rare. Brain surgery at Long Island Jewish Medical Center to cure a woman with musicogenic epilepsy has raised awareness of the neurological condition. According to the Associated Press, 25 year-old Stacey Gayle's seizures were triggered by reggae and hip-hop artist Sean Paul's music. Following brain surgery, Gayle hasn't experienced another seizure, to date.

Reflexive seizures are difficult to identify, because often the stimuli is unknown. Although musicogenic epilepsy is not common, according to Doctor's Daly and Barry, Jr., the first case was reported in 1884. Dr. Acerkman and Banks study verified Daly and Berry's conclusion that both psychoacoustic and psychological factors play a role in inducing reflexive seizures. This means that in part musicogenic seizures are caused by certain noises and in part they are caused by negative associations with certain noises or music.

Additional indications which have been observed in patients with reflexive epilepsy include: déjà vu, hearing loss, twitching, loss of consciousness, head tilts, increased blood pressure, respiration changes, elevated temperature, incoherence, trembling of limbs, feeling of a need to grasp a thought that has just escaped their mind, and perspiration.

In addition to musicogenic epilepsy, researchers have found reflexive epilepsy to be triggered by a tap on the shoulder, flashes of light, alcohol, temperature changes, exercise exhaustion, stress, and menstrual cycle or other hormonal changes. Insomnia, video games, insomnia and fatigue, and specific visual pattern have also been known to trigger epileptic seizures. Rarely, seizures may be triggered by thinking, eating, or soaking in water.
Identifying and understanding the trigger of reflexive epilepsy is important to patient recovery. In cases in which reflexives are neurological, brain surgery may be necessary. In cases where reflexive epilepsy is caused by negative association of triggers with trauma, loneliness, despair, or other major life events may be helped by intensive therapy.

According to research by Daly and Bary, many cases appear to have both autonomic neurological causes and associative triggers. In case of any signs of seizures, a doctor should be consulted and treatment should be undertaken, and continued consistently.

Failure to seek medical help for seizures, or seizure like symptoms, may result in harm to one's self or others.

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