BOSTON, Mass., December 7, 2009—Most people with epilepsy are completely unaware of their symptoms during a seizure and derive their perception of the episodes from the reaction and description of bystanders. These observer reports often lead to anxiety, depression or phobias in people with the disorder.
A new study reported today at the American Epilepsy Society (AES) annual meeting shows significant neuropsychological improvement in patients after viewing their own seizures. The study author found that 3 in 4 patients were more confident in facing others after viewing their own seizures, and 63 percent of patients in the study experienced an immediate positive impact and recommended seizure viewing to other patients.
The study, conducted by Sree Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences & Technology in Trivandrum, India, videotaped 35 patients (15 females and 20 males) with a median age of 25 years with refractory seizures. For a 2-month period, each of the patients was administered a hospital anxiety and depression scale survey prior to and after viewing their own seizures.
“This study shows that having patients view their own seizures is highly useful in improving neuropsychological outcomes for patients with refractory seizures,” said Dr. Atma Ram Bansal. “Standard use of this practice in selected patients might increase the number of patients who experience a positive change in attitude and learn to cope better with their seizures.”