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Epilepsy

Category: Illness or disabilities

Type

Involuntary

Introduction and description

 

Epilepsy is not a single disorder but a syndrome with many different symptoms, all of which result from abnormal electrical activity in the brain.  The type of stimulation to which an epileptic is subjected is high intensity stimulation.

The continual over stimulation of the functions in the brain long term can cause cell death - Brain damage - but in effect all epileptic seizures are a type of temporary brain damage.  Whether they do permanent harm or not is a function of the intensity of the resulting electrical signal.

Epilepsy can result in many of the other illnesses of the brain, from Anxiety to Depression, from Migraine to Deafness, from Autism to Blindness, from Alzheimer’s and dementia to ADHD, and from Bipolar disorder or manic depression to Schizophrenia  so it needs to be taken seriously.  And it can lead to death.

If the person does not die from the underlying diseases that can be a part of certain epilepsies, people with epilepsy most frequently die from 

  • status epilepticus when constant over stimulation leads to cell death
  • and suicide associated with depression

The NICE National Sentinel Audit of Epilepsy-Related Deaths revealed;
"1,000 deaths occur every year in the UK as a result of epilepsy … 42% of deaths were potentially avoidable". 

The figure below shows Estimated numbers of people with epilepsy in the UK for different age groups as at 2012.

Jessica Keenan Smith | posted in: News | 16  Living Well with Epilepsy Original article July 2010
Epilepsy is not that serious, right? I mean, its not like you can die from it or anything. Right?  According to the American Epilepsy Society, “it is very uncommon but not unheard of for people to die with a seizure.”  I suspect that the families that have lost a loved one to SUDEP or Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy might have a different opinion.
‘Rare’ and ‘very uncommon’ are what patients hear from medical professionals when they ask the question, “Can I die from epilepsy?” But after having epilepsy for years, I just didn’t believe that the odds were in our favour, considering 3 Million people in the USA have it (and 60 mil in the world). So I did a little digging.  It didn’t take much. I quickly found that the AES considers ‘very uncommon’ to be the approximately 45,000 deaths each year.  According to the Epilepsy Foundation of America, about the same number of people die each year from seizures as die from either breast cancer or traffic accidents.
December 2013 estimates of SUDEP, are closer to a range of 5.5% – 18%. In the US that translates to 121,000 to 396,000 deaths each year.

 

About 50 million people worldwide had epilepsy as of 2010.  As Jessica says it is going up at an alaming rate.  Epilepsy's approximate annual incidence rate was 40–70 per 100,000 in industrialized countries and 100–190 per 100,000 in resource-poor countries; but these numbers are growing too.

The demographic differences are due to the differences in cause, which we will have a look at shortly. 

And some forms of epilepsy produce very very profound spiritual experiences.

Names, names, names ......

 

The current approach to medicine is based on symptoms and not causes. 

In symptom based medicine the doctor tries to identify all the different symptoms of an illness and then having giving that grouping of symptoms a name, he then looks in his book of pharmaceuticals for a named illness and prescribes 'medicine' for it.  There is no attempt to find the cause. 

And incidentally saying that epilepsy is 'caused by' abnormal electrical activity in the brain is incorrect, it isn't caused by this, this is just another symptom, a cause is knowing why there are abnormal signals in the brain.

As a consequence of this approach to medicine, there are now well over 40 different types of epilepsy.  If you think about this for a moment, you should be able to see that for each area of the brain over stimulated, a different sort of seizure will result, when several different areas get stimulated together you will get another type. If you now think about all the possible combinations of brain areas you should be able to see that there are hundreds if not thousands of possible combinations in reality, some of which may be one-offs.   It is thus not particularly helpful to anyone with the illness to be told they have a particular type of epilepsy.  They may have one type one time and another the next.  The only thing which is of interest to them – and to be frank should be of interest to the doctors -  is which parts of the brain are getting over stimulated and why.

 

Just to give you some idea of how very complex the medical profession have made this area without – by doing so - adding anything to knowledge of the area, is given by the names.  We have  Benign occipital epilepsy of childhood (BOEC)  or Panayiotopoulos syndrome  or Catamenial epilepsy(CE) or Childhood absence epilepsy (CAE) or Dravet's syndrome, Frontal lobe epilepsy,  Juvenile absence epilepsy, Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) West syndrome, Ohtahara syndrome, Primary reading epilepsy , Progressive myoclonic epilepsy, Unverricht-Lundborg disease, myoclonus epilepsy with ragged red fibers (MERRF syndrome), Lafora disease, neuronal ceroid lipofucinosis, sialdosis; Rasmussen's encephalitis, Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) and so it goes on.

Baby Millie has 225 seizures a day

I'm sure it gives doctors a huge boost to their egos to know they can remember all those big long names and occasionally they may even be able to remember which medication they have been told to prescribe for this very long name, but the more names, the bigger the risk that they have got it wrong, and of course they still don't know the cause and without knowing the cause, handing out pharmaceuticals is indeed a very very risky strategy. 

Symptoms

 

In the section on the Brain and its functions you can see that each bit of the brain processes certain sorts of function.  It is as if our brain was the computer and each little microprocessor had its own function or set of functions. 

Depending on which bit of the brain is affected people can get ‘motor symptoms’ or ‘tonic-clonic spasms’. Some people may simply cease to respond unable to understand language. They may be unable to speak or hear, or control movements.  They may get odd eye movements or twitching.  They can get auditory hallucinations or truly awful changes in auditory signals.  There may be odd distortions of vision [from over stimulation of the occipital lobe].  There can be extreme effects on the heart too with fibrillations and arrhythmias.  Some people experience unpleasant and non existent odours. Some people have problems with ‘gastric motility’.   There may be numbness or hypersensitivity.  Some people may stare blankly straight ahead conscious-awareness lost – these are termed absence seizures.

 

But the possibilities are of course endless, because for each of the functions of the brain and the body, over stimulation can result in an odd effect from that function. 

Stimulate the function of emotion and you can get some truly awful effects and some epileptics experience these awful effects  – terror, appalling depression.  The function of desire can be stimulated too until it becomes almost uncontrollable lust.  There may even be nicer extreme emotions – some people experience bliss or extreme pleasure or joy or overwhelming happiness.  Whatever emotion is prevalent at the time simply gets exaggerated and of course depending on the environment this can change whilst the excitation is going on and thus the person can run the full gamut of extreme emotions.

The response can be just as exaggerated.  People may laugh uncontrollably, cry uncontrollably, hiss, grunt,  grit or gnash their teeth uncontrollably , clench their fists until their hands bleed, scream, shout, kiss everyone in sight and so on.  So the behavioural functions – the ones we learn to use in response to an emotion end up being executed in the same kind of extreme way as the extreme emotion that triggered them.

If the behavioural responses are stimulated so much that they become inoperable, all you will get is the direct and uncontrolled response to the emotion in all its extremes. There have been reported instances of patients suddenly lashing out and even attempting to attack those close by, while in the midst of a seizure and attacking, kicking, and destroying furniture and other objects. Moreover, some patients have acted out sexually during a seizure. 

 Whatever functions we have as human beings, excitation makes them extreme until eventually they may cease to function – they conk out.  Epilepsy is simply the over excitation of function resulting from electrical brain storms.   

Causes  - working backwards from the symptoms

What is it that causes these sudden electrical storms?  There may be one off events that suddenly trigger a storm, or there can be illnesses or damage to our bodies that progressively cause degeneration that then cause the storms.  But in reality, in our bodies there is only one cause and that is the misfunctioning of the process of generating an electrical signal in the neuron.

 In the physical nervous system, the information about the strength of a stimulus is not carried in the form of the size or amplitude of the nerve impulses, but by changes in their frequency

 So we can perhaps postulate that an epileptic attack is the transmission of nerve impulses of extremely high frequency perhaps at frequencies far higher than is normal to trigger the function the impulse is targetting.   So what sorts of things can cause this over stimulation.  If I summarise here then the next section can go into the root causes - the real reasons: 

  •  
    An abnormal physical stimulus  - chemical, mechanical, thermal,  electrical or light intensity stimulus – including drugs [pharmaceuticals and illegal drugs] , electrical pollution, heat stroke, light flicker such as strobe lighting.  One of the stimuli to a nerve is a neurotransmitter and neurotransmitters can be endogenous [inside the body] or exogenous [outside the body].   If we get extraordinarily high levels of neurotransmitters from drugs we have taken or from an inbalance to our natural neurotransmitter levels we may well get an unnatural level of stimulation. 
  •  
    Damage to the neuron itself which causes malfunction.  Yet again this can result from genetic mutations or physical damage from tumours or injury to brain cells.  Head injuries for example can cause epileptic fits as can tumours.   The causes of the genetic mutations can be anything from illness to infections and viruses, as well as vaccination and particularly toxins.  Repeated exposures to some pesticides have been shown to induce seizures in both humans and animals 
  • An abnormal fuctional stimulus such as very high emotion or extreme pain.  Extreme grief can result in abnormal electrical impulses 
  • Chemical inbalance in potassium, sodium, chloride and calcium, which in turn can be dietary or environmental or drug related 

All this serves to show that epilepsy is to a large extent one syndrome in between the final effect – whatever it may be  - and the original cause, which can be a host  of things. So let us now get on to the most important section, what is the ultimate cause?

Root causes

Radiation

If the radiation is at the resonant frequency of one of the organs in your brain it will resonate it.  So, for example, the signals coming off electrical apparatus, including phones, TVs, bedside clocks, microwaves, as well as over headpower lines or similar sources may just have the right frequency to act as a resonator.   All radiation whether 'cosmic' or electromagnetic impacts our bodies and depending on its frequency it resonates different parts of us.  The reason that nuclear radiation is so dangerous is that it impacts cells, but what we appear to have overlooked is that all radiation impacts some part of us.

Every aggregate in our bodies - organs, cells, the body itself, has natural ‘resonance’.  Resonance is a substance’s natural tendency to oscillate – vibrate – at maximum amplitude at certain frequencies, known as the thing’s resonant frequency.  And the brain organs can resonate too, so many of the one-off episodes or episodes in houses or places of work, may be due to this cause.

Med Sci Monit Basic Res. 2013 May 10;19:141-5. doi: 10.12659/MSMBR.883907.  What is the impact of electromagnetic waves on epileptic seizures?  Cinar N1, Sahin S, Erdinc OO.  1Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Maltepe University, Istanbul, Turkey. cinarnilgun@gmail.com
The effects of electromagnetic waves (EMWs) on humans and their relationship with various disorders have been investigated. We aimed to investigate the effects of exposure to different frequencies of EMWs in various durations in a mouse epilepsy model induced by pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)……………Our findings suggest that acute exposure to EMW may facilitate epileptic seizures, which may be independent of EMW exposure time. This information might be important for patients with epilepsy. Further studies are needed.  PMID:  23676765

Pharmaceuticals

Both the pharmaceuticals used to treat epilepsy and pharmaceuticals in general have  a heady record for inducing epileptic fits. 

The eHealthme site collects the Adverse Drug reports submitted by doctors to the FDA and SEDA in the USA.  It then summarises them for ease of use.  We originally provided a direct link to the Epilepsy page on this site and the pharmaceuticals that can cause it, but the eHealthme website developers frequently reorganise the site and thus break the links.  Thus in order to find out which pharmaceuticals are implicated in Epilepsy

  • Follow the LINK to the eHealthme website
  • Using the ‘All conditions’ index find the appropriate entry
  • Now scroll down until you get to the section marked ‘Drugs that could cause

The list shows you all the drugs implicated in CAUSING Epilepsy as well as the number of people who have made a complaint to their doctor and had their case reported by him.  Note that it is up to the doctor whether he reports or not.

As of October 2016, about 1,150 pharmaceuticals were in this list.


Some examples, from the case studies to be found on the eHealthme website

 

Emily on Jun, 17, 2012:  I have been free of any epilepsy occurrences since 7 years. I had a chest infection and was 4 days into a course of Amoxcillin. I suffered from an epilepsy seizure.  At the hospital they advised that I discontinue the Amoxcyllin.

and

Evastanley on Feb, 11, 2014 at 12:14 pm:  Who:   Age: 44   Gender: female; Conditions: Epilepsy Congenital; Medications: Diabeta; Details: I was told 2 1/2 year ago that I had cerebral atrophy and I had the start of memory problems lately it's been getting worse n I have had no help to understand wots going on I forget things I black out n don't no wot I'm doing I can't talk probably n it's so hard to understand,the change I'm though

Glibenclamide is also known as glyburide and Diabeta, it  is an antidiabetic drug in a class of medications known as sulfonylureas.

This one is interesting and it might not be the IUD but infection from it .....

Sawsem on Feb, 18, 2013:  I am a 28 year old mother of two. I have had 2 iuds. the first one was December 2007-December 2009. The 2nd one was January 2010-2/6/2013. I started having seizures in March 2010 and got diagnosed with a seizure disorder in September 2011. I was placed on seizure medication and things seemed better until I started experiencing seizures again. I was also having episodes throughout 2010-2/6/2013. I decided to get off the medication 6/28/2012. I believe that the mirena Iud is to blame for the seizures and should know pretty shortly for sure since the seizures/episodes occur around the time that I should be having a period if it wasn't for the iud

Other brain damage

All of the other types of brain damage can also result in or develop into an epileptic seizure, for example, Migraine,Bipolar disorder or manic depression,  Parkinson’s disease,  Multiple Sclerosis,  ADHD,  Brain haemorrhage,  Brain tumour,  Concussion,  Stroke,  Meningitis,  Traumatic injury to the brain and head banging,  Encephalitis,  Hydrocephalus,  Epidural hematoma and  Atonia and atonic seizures.  Epilepsy is common among children with Autism.  Remember that epilepsy is a symptom not a cause and you do need to be investigated to ensure you do not have one of these.

An 11-year-old receiving H1N1 Influenza
vaccine as a nasal spray

 Vaccines, Food allergy and Other allergies

The grouping in this heading may seem a little odd, but the three are strongly related.  Vaccines can cause food and other sorts of allergy, and in turn allergies are strongly correlated to epilepsy.  It is essential that you read the three sections relating to this to understand what is happening as although not complex, the cause effect chain does need to be followed.  Not all food or other allergies are caused by vaccines, so the root cause is not vaccines in all cases, but some vaccines do cause both sorts of allergy and there is a statistical link between allergies and epilepsy ...................

Allergy. 2014 Jan;69(1):95-103. doi: 10.1111/all.12319. Epub 2013 Nov 20.  Allergic disease is associated with epilepsy in childhood: a US population-based study.  Silverberg JI1, Joks R, Durkin HG. 
Previous studies using animal models suggest an association between allergic disease and epilepsy. We sought to determine whether allergic disease is associated with epilepsy in children.  We used the 2007-2008 National Survey of Children's Health, a US population-based study of 91,642 children aged 0-17 years to determine the association between the prevalence of epilepsy and allergic disease, including asthma, atopic dermatitis (AD)/eczema, hay fever, and food allergies. Multivariate logistic regression models were constructed that controlled for confounding variables. ………….CONCLUSIONS:   The US prevalence of epilepsy is associated with allergic diseases in children. Further studies are needed to determine whether allergic inflammation contributes toward epileptogenesis.  PMID:  24251558

My opinion is that it is not allergic inflammation, but damage to the brain at the time the allergic reaction was developed that is the problem.  In effect at the time the allergen [and vaccine] was in the blood stream it crossed the blood brain barrier and did the damage.  The moment we add sugars to a vaccine we have automatically opened the blood brain barrier.  Nasal vaccines have no need to cross the blood brain barrier as the nose provides direct entry to the brain.  

Lil Wayne has epilepsy

Heavy metals and dental fillings

There is a proven link between heavy metal poisoning and brain damage in general, with links being made particularly between lead and mercury.  By extension dental amalgam fillings, if they leak or if inappropriate or badly executed dental work is undertaken using dental amalgam, may also be a cause given that dental amalgam is based on mercury.
For those still denying the link between brain damage and dental amalgam fillings, I suggest you go to the section by following the link and read the observations.  

Nutritional deprivation, including mineral supplements

Kelly Osborne has epilepsy

Nutritional deprivation can cause epilepsy.  Mineral imbalance - deficiencies and  overdose, in particular, can result in epilepsy.  One mineral which is proven to have caused epilepsy is magnesium.  The insistence by some ill-advised mothers to dose their children on mineral and vitamin supplements may be one cause, although many pharmaceuticals can also cause mineral imbalance.  The following is from the eHealthme site,  remember this may be the tip of the iceberg......

On Nov, 26, 2016:  17,129 people reported to have side effects when taking Magnesium.
Among them, 14 people (0.08%) have Epilepsy

 

Agatha Christie was said to have epilepsy

Bacterial infection and Viral infection

Both bacteria and viruses, if they cross the blood brain barrier can cause epilepsy.  This paper is but one example of many and many viruses are implicated as are many bacteria:


Health records from 2002 to 2006 of all children 6 months to 6 years with a discharge diagnosis from the Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto, ON) of febrile convulsion, meningitis, or encephalitis were reviewed. Rates of bacterial meningitis and HSV encephalitis in children presenting with complex febrile seizures were calculated. .....There were 390 encounters of complex febrile seizures in 366 children. O...... A history of febrile convulsions was noted in 140 (36%).  Six patients (all but one transferred) were diagnosed with bacterial meningitis (all due to Streptococcus pneumoniae).  PMID: 19633589

It is possible that fungal infection also plays a role, but I could find no papers on this.

Parasites

There is a clear link between parasites and brain damage in general, thus one would expect there to be a link to epilepsy, and there is..............

The propensity of parasites to invade the brain, cause disease, and give rise to seizures and epilepsy varies greatly. This reflects the wide diversity of parasites that differ in fundamental ways. This manuscript reviews parasites that invade the brain or its vasculature and give rise to seizures. PMID: 24955073

 

Elton John suffers from epilepsy

Toxins

There are a huge number of toxins in our environment, all of which man has unleashed on the unsuspecting world of nature, and toxins are a very prime cause of epilepsy.  Pesticides, insecticides and a host of household chemicals can be breathed in or absorbed through the skin and by-pass the bloodbrain barrier.  One of the most terrifying of these is the nanoparticle.  Nanoparticles can affect genes, so we are lining ourselves up for a most interesting unplanned experiment in mutation in releasing these into the environment. Epilepsy will be the least of our worries.  The following case history was a deliberate attempt at suicide, but I hope it demonstrates the general principle - whether you take it in one dose deliberately or accumulate it involuntarily via the food you eat, it still has the same effect.

Herbicides containing glufosinate ammonium are widely used in many countries including Japan. Many Japanese cases of accidental and suicidal poisoning by glufosinate have been reported since 1989. We report a case of a 64-year old man who ingested glufosinate in an attempted suicide. The patient suffered mental disturbances and hematological changes together with gastrointestinal effects shortly after ingesting the poison, and later developed generalized convulsions, impaired respiration and circulatory failure. During recovery he exhibited loss of short-term memory (retrograde and anterograde amnesia). Neurotoxicity is a characteristic of glufosinate poisoning, although the mechanism is not clear. From the analysis of clinical symptoms of previously published cases, glufosinate toxicity appears to arise both from the active ingredient and the surfactant in the formulation. PMID: 9491336

Romeo Beckham Suffers From Epilepsy.

There are hundreds more papers just like this on Pubmed.

Being with cats

For the reasons explained in this section

Psychological trauma

For the reasons explained in this section, extreme emotion causes brain 'surges'.

Alcoholism

In effect an excess of alcohol intake

Hypoxia

See both Hypoxia and Hypoxia side-effects

Treatment

Symptom based medicine

 

There is little attempt made by the medical fraternity to find the cause and as we can see above, one of the causes may be the pharmaceuticals they have prescribed in the first place. 

Treatment of epilepsy involves medication that can be very unspecific in its action and whilst it may control the seizures it may also serve to block the functioning of other key functions in the brain.

See Epilepsy drugs.  

People can feel lethargic or terribly tired and experience many other odd effects. And one of the effects is death.

Different types of CHD, diagnosed after lethal outcome (autopsy report) or after surgical intervention (catheter or correction), were evaluated in order to estimate the possible role of chronic maternal diseases in their origin. This analysis was based on the rates of medically recorded chronic maternal diseases in 3562 live-born cases with CHDs, 38,151 population controls without any birth defects, and 16,602 malformed controls with other isolated congenital abnormalities, using the data set of the population-based Hungarian Case-Control Surveillance of Congenital Abnormalities (1980-1996).  .............RESULTS:  Maternal epilepsy treated with carbamazepine and migraine were found to be associated with higher risk of ventricular septal defect.   PMID: 25216447

One of the standard treatments used for epilepsy is calcium channel blocking, but of course this may turn out to be rather a drastic measure given the great number of causes that exist.   It has led to death.  The following is slightly disguised in its conclusions, but what it is saying is that the pharmaceuticals used to treat epilepsy can kill you   ….

Brugada-like electrocardiographic pattern induced by lamotrigine toxicity - Strimel WJ et al ; Section of Cardiac Electrophysiology and Pacing, Division of Cardiology, Scott and White Clinic, Department of Neurology, Scott and White Neuroscience Institute, Texas USA
.....A 22-year-old Hispanic female presented for emergency evaluation with ataxia and alterations in consciousness. Her medical history was significant for temporal lobe epilepsy, treated with lamotrigine, a phenyltriazine agent known to block neuronal voltage-gated sodium channels. There was no family history of sudden cardiac death. Initial laboratory data, neuroimaging, and echocardiography were unremarkable. Her ECG on presentation was concerning for Brugada pattern. …... Serum lamotrigine level was subsequently reported in the toxic range
Lamotrigine, at toxic levels, may … exert an effect on cardiac sodium channels, a phenomenon that has not been previously described. Given previous reports of associations between the drug-induced Brugada ECG pattern and ventricular dysrhythmias, clinicians should be aware of this potential effect.

 

 

Cause based medicine

 There is value in nagging your doctor into starting to be a doctor and not a drug dealer, insisting on tests to help you find the cause.  If he won't co-operate, get yourself a new doctor.

 

 

Find the cause - see Healing yourself

 

 

 

 

 

How it works

Why do people get hallucinations, near death and out of body experiences from epilepsy?  Physically the answer is via ...

Brain damage. 

See also Epilepsy and brain damage

There are two mechanisms by which spiritual experience can be obtained via resonance – the high intensity route in which functions are ‘knocked out’ and the low intensity route where they are gently stimulated. Epilepsy produces very high intensity brain storms. 

References and further reading

  • Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2014 Aug 27;182C:1-6. doi:    10.1016/j.ejogrb.2014.08.022. Association of certain chronic maternal diseases with the risk of specific congenital heart defects: a population-based study.  Vereczkey A1, Gerencsér B2, Czeizel AE3, Szabó I4. 1Versys Clinics, Human Reproduction Institute, Budapest, Hungary. Electronic address: attila.vereczkey@versysclinics.com.
  • Cutan Ocul Toxicol. 2014 Jun;33(2):103-8. doi: 10.3109/15569527.2013.808654. Epub 2013 Jul 2. Epileptic seizures induced by cycloplegic eye drops.  Wygnanski-Jaffe T1, Nucci P, Goldchmit M, Mezer E.  1Goldschleger Eye Institute and Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Sheba Medical Center , Tel Hashomer , Israel
  • Bull Soc Belge Ophtalmol. 1999;273:17-8.  Cyclopentolate and grand mal seizure. Mwanza JC.  Department of Ophthalmology, Bondeko Clinic, Kinshasa, Dem. Rep. of Congo.  PMID:  10546378
  • Pediatr Dent. 2001 Nov-Dec;23(6):508-13. Long-term management of an idiopathic gingival fibromatosis patient with the primary dentition.  Kamolmatyakul S1, Kietthubthew S, Anusaksathien O. 1Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Prince of Songkla University, Hadyai, Thailand.
  • Hosp Pediatr. 2014 May;4(3):181-7. doi: 10.1542/hpeds.2013-0098.  Nothing is simple about a complex febrile seizure: looking beyond fever as a cause for seizures in children.  Hofert SM1, Burke MG. 1Department of Pediatrics, St Agnes Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland;PMID: 24785563
  • Pediatr Emerg Care. 2009 Aug;25(8):494-7. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0b013e3181b0a095. Risk of bacterial or herpes simplex virus meningitis/encephalitis in children with complex febrile seizures.  Seltz LB1, Cohen E, Weinstein M.
  • Epilepsy Curr. 2014 Jan;14(1 Suppl):29-34. doi: 10.5698/1535-7511-14.s2.29.  Parasitic Diseases that Cause Seizures.  Nash TE. Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD.

Observations

 

There are a number of types of epileptic fit – 'grand mal seizures' [which cause contractions in muscles in the body], jacksonian seizures [which cause muscle twitching] – but there are certain areas of the brain which, if affected produce quite specific spiritual effects.

Many of the following observations show that in many indigenous cultures epilepsy was regarded as a sacred disease – the source of people who were extremely special and to be revered.

A chapter from a Babylonian textbook of medicine, for example, dating from about 2000BC and consisting of 40 tablets, emphasised the supernatural nature of epilepsy, while the Ayurvedic text of Charaka Samhita (about 400BC), describes epilepsy as "apasmara", i.e., "loss of consciousness".

Related observations