VIDEO GAME SEIZURES

Seizures caused by the brightly flashing images in video games are more common than most people realize. They can happen even in people with no history of seizures. Most individuals with this type of visual sensitivity (a condition often called photosensitive epilepsy) have their first seizure before knowing they need to be careful around the flash, flicker, on-screen patterns, and intense colors in video games.  As exposure keeps growing to increasingly sophisticated computer graphics, more of the population is at risk for seizures.


Although video games include seizure warnings (online games may not), most of us assume the warnings don't apply to us or our children. This site explains what you should know so that you can be alert for signs of seizures in yourself and others. 


                                             

Visit my blog Seizures from Video Games for discussion of medical research findings, commentary on game industry news, and accounts of real people with video game seizures. You can also learn more about me there. 


APRIL 16, 2014

Disenfranchisement of reflex seizures ending?

This week a new definition of epilepsy was published that (among other things) clarifies for clinicians that photosensitive and other reflex seizures qualify as “real” epilepsy. This may eventually help increase awareness of seizures from video games and other electronic media.

Photosensitive seizures and other forms of reflex epilepsy have long been included in classifications of epileptic seizures, but they don’t fit cleanly in the groupings of seizure types and syndromes. They’ve been too easily overlooked and taken too lightly by doctors using the prevailing diagnostic criteria for epilepsy: two unprovoked seizures at least 24 hours apart.

Because reflex seizures are, by definition, provoked by specific triggers, there’s confusion and
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