Rethinking Epilepsy

Preliminary Reading: Laser Cascade, Too Much Light, and How a Flicker Causes a Seizure

I’ve recently covered a completely new electrical function of the human body. The input mechanism as well as the necessary output balance.  It the last post, we defined a seizure as the body’s natural way to rid the body of excess electrical charge.

Risk Factors:

  • Babies who are born small for their age
  • Babies who have seizures in the first month of life
  • Babies who are born with abnormal areas in the brain
  • Bleeding into the brain
  • Abnormal blood vessels in the brain
  • Serious brain injury or lack of oxygen to the brain
  • Brain tumors
  • Infections of the brain: abscess, meningitis, or encephalitis
  • Stroke resulting from blockage of arteries
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Conditions with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • Seizures occurring within days after head injury (“early post-traumatic seizures”)
  • Family history of epilepsy or fever-related seizures
  • Alzheimer’s disease (late in the illness)
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Fever-related (febrile) seizures that are unusually long
  • Long episodes of seizures or repeated seizures called status epilepticus
  • Use of illegal drugs such as cocaine

Triggers:

  • Missed medication
  • Lack of sleep or disrupted sleep
  • Illness (both with and without fever)
  • Psychological stress
  • Heavy alcohol use or seizures after alcohol withdrawal
  • Use of cocaine and other recreational drugs such as Ecstasy
  • Over-the-counter drugs, prescription medications or supplements that decrease the effectiveness of seizure medicines
  • Nutritional deficiencies: vitamins and minerals
  • Poor eating habits, such as long times without eating, dehydration or not enough fluids
  • The menstrual cycle or hormonal changes
  • Flashing lights or patterns
  • Specific activities, noises or foods

The cause of most cases of epilepsy is unknown. Now we have a puzzle worth solving.

Certain disorders occur more often in people with epilepsy, depending partly on the epilepsy syndrome present. These include depression, anxiety, obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), and migraine. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder affects three to five times more children with epilepsy than children without the condition. ADHD and epilepsy have significant consequences on a child’s behavioral, learning, and social development. Epilepsy is also more common in children with autism.

What happens biologically during a seizure?

seizure is a period of symptoms due to abnormally excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain. Outward effects vary from uncontrolled shaking movements involving much of the body with loss of consciousness (tonic-clonic seizure), to shaking movements involving only part of the body with variable levels of consciousness (focal seizure), to a subtle momentary loss of awareness (absence seizure).  Most of the time these episodes last less than two minutes and it takes some time to return to normal. Loss of bladder control may occur.

What causes a seizure? There is evidence that epileptic seizures are usually not a random event. Seizures are often brought on by factors such as stress, alcohol abuse, flickering light, or a lack of sleep, among others. The term seizure threshold is used to indicate the amount of stimulus necessary to bring about a seizure. Seizure threshold is lowered in epilepsy.

Even in someone with epilepsy, there are factors that make this event non-random. Seizures do not happen all the time. People have certain triggers, and warning signs that a seizure is coming. Meaning that the mental state that causes seizures is not stationary, and it is not random. The fact that it can be triggered means that it can be targeted and mitigated.

How can we best describe the mental states that produce seizures? High entropy. We describe in previous articles those people with Alzheimer’s and Autism as very high entropy. Also, the fact that psychological stress and lack of sleep may be triggers add to the case that the seizures are caused by a heightened brain state.


What about Tourette’s? Would a Tourette tic be considered a mild seizure?

Here are the risk factors associated with Tourette’s:

  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Learning disabilities
  • Sleep disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Pain related to tics, especially headaches
  • Anger-management problems

If time doesn’t exist in the brain, and a seizure is abnormal electric activity. Then Tourette’s is epilepsy. The duration and frequency of the seizures is different.

IMG_6397

Tourette’s is defined by these tics. Involuntary muscle movements or speech. We know that the involuntary muscle movements are electrical signals. And the speech is too.

If Tourette’s is a series of involuntary electrical signals, it is no different than epilepsy. If the two are the same, why is one so much more frequent than the other? It’s the stress and rest pattern of the brain. Once the brain reaches the seizure threshold, it produces an undesired result. Higher energy individuals would naturally trend higher on this scale.

Sources:

  1. http://www.johnhamelministries.org/be_free_from_epilepsy.htm
  2. https://www.epilepsy.com/start-here/about-epilepsy-basics/what-happens-during-seizure
  3. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/why-do-flashing-images-cause-seizures-180961504/
  4. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/epilepsy
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epilepsy
  6. https://www.webmd.com/epilepsy/medications-treat-seizures#1
  7. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tourette-syndrome/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350470
  8. https://www.epilepsyresearch.org.uk/epilepsy-rates-raised-in-patients-with-tourettes-syndrome/
  9. https://www.popsci.com/science/article/2010-09/researchers-translate-thoughts-speech-potentially-allowing-locked-patients-communicate

Tourette’s is reversible

We’ll get there in a second. But first, is Tourette’s genetic? The majority of cases are inherited. Kinda. Here’s what Wikipedia says about it:

A person with Tourette’s has about a 50% chance of passing the gene(s) to one of his or her children, but Tourette’s is a condition of variable expression and incomplete penetrance. Thus, not everyone who inherits the genetic vulnerability will show symptoms; even close family members may show different severities of symptoms, or no symptoms at all. The gene(s) may express as Tourette’s, as a milder tic disorder (provisional or chronic tics), or as obsessive–compulsive symptoms without tics. Only a minority of the children who inherit the gene(s) have symptoms severe enough to require medical attention. Gender appears to have a role in the expression of the genetic vulnerability: males are more likely than females to express tics.

I have a science background, and looking at this type of explanation makes me cringe. Read it for yourself, but it seems like we’re trying to make a genetic model fit when it’s really something we just can’t explain. 

It’s associated with OCD, ADD, ADHD, and sleep disorders. This shouldn’t surprise you at this point. We’ve discussed the nature of these diseases and how they are more related than anyone knows. In my opinion, the brain is binary. It’s either working properly or it’s not. And if it’s not, there’s a host of different functions that will be impaired. [see There is only one brain disease]

It’s 3-4 times more likely in guys than girls. It’s the same reason that men are more likely to get skin cancer and on average live about six years less. Why? Because of their brain activity. They are further from their ground state, so time feels slower. Recovery takes longer.

White kids are twice as likely as black and Hispanic kids to get Tourette’s.  Why is that? Resting brain activity. It’s the same reason that black kids are more likely to play in the NFL. The closer their brains are to the delta state the faster they recover and better they operate.

Tics may remit with age. This is from Wikipedia. But it’s huge. Why? Because using my model of the human brain, this means that Tourette’s is a reversible condition. How do we reverse it? Same way we reverse other brain dysfunctions:

  1. Identify the loop. This is the repeated behavior. It should be pretty obvious.
  2. Identify the fears causing the loop. What are they afraid of? What makes them act like this?
  3. Identify the logic causing the fears. Why are they scared of this?
  4. Doubt the logic. Question their reasoning. If you can change their mind, you can change their brain.

 

Sources:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourette_syndrome
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/tourette/data.html