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Seizures and Computer Games

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Old 02-02-2007, 02:12 PM   #1
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Seizures and Computer Games

Hello All,

Just a little background.. I've been dealing with seizures for the past 4+ years. I rarely have seizures where I lose conciousness, maybe once every 2-3 months, but all along I've gotten the aura feeling maybe once every two weeks on average. There really is no pattern to it though. Anyways, I've been going through different medications (Dilantin, Tegretol, Depakote, and now Lamictal+Keppra) for throughout the 4+ years and the latest, Lamictal+Keppra, has worked relatively good for me (still get the aura, but no seizures).

I used to play the game Everquest when I first started having seizures (although I actually started played the game over a year before the seizures came on). I know they eventually had those seizure warnings in the game so I stopped, fearing it might have caused my seizures. Even after quitting the game, I still had seizures/auras for 3+ years, so I don't think the game was the source of my issues. At this point in time, although I haven't had a seizure for over a year, I still deal with the aura feeling every month or two. I just started playing World of Warcraft, which I think has one or two brief warnings about seizures (it seems like all games do for liability reasons nowadays). A week ago, the aura feeling I typically have came on the day after playing (no seizure though), so I don't know if there is any link between the two.

Sorry for all the info, but my question to anyone else who has experience with this, but if these games might be the "cause" of the seizure, would the effect be immediate? I.E. would I have a seizure while playing the game?

Or might there be after-effects of the game that might only be felt a few hours later or the next day?

I know there is so much unknown about seizures, but maybe someone has some experience with this. Any info would be great.


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Old 02-03-2007, 02:15 PM   #2
Travis from MN
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Re: Seizures and Computer Games

Web search using the words "seizure" and "pokemon" to find a related case where large amounts of children who had no past history of seizures experienced a sudden onset of their first (and only) seizure due to the rapid flashing of the frames on the cartoon's episode. It may have been with higher resolution TV's or standard resolution as well; unsure.

That is one case where non-epileptics were "triggered" due to a photo cause (the rapid flashing of images). However those effected did not continue to have problems.

A related question, to your case; would be have you had problems at concerts due to the lights? Or strobes, emergency cars/trucks on the road, items along those lines? This would be along the lines of having a photo-sensitive trigger. A small minority of epileptics have this.

Also, within that group of epileptics who have problems with flashing lights causing seizures, the "power saving" bulbs, and flourecent tubes are problamatic. their "cycle rate" causes a flashing thats not noticable unless one pays attention to it. Same with "tube" televisions and computer moniters that are set at the traditional 60Hz cycle rate (refresh).

Often you need to change the refresh rate on moniters so it doesn't bother you as much.

Another item to use is "polarized" sun glasses. sometimes specific hues can help better then the generic brown lens; it depends on the person.

As for why the seizures don't strike right away; the brain doesn't always have a trip switch. It sometimes takes time, or change of environment for seizures to hit even AFTER being exposed to the cause.


Old 02-08-2007, 09:25 PM   #3
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Re: Seizures and Computer Games

I've never had any problems with flashing lights or anything else similar that I know of. Seizures are something that my Dad and Cousin have had to deal with, although they have them rarely, and didn't show up until they were in their 40s and teens, respectively. So it is definitely something in the family, although I'm sure there are external factors that might trigger them, like you mention. Thanks for the suggestions, I will definitely look into that stuff.

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