Game-related seizures presenting with two types of clinical features

Yao-Chung Chuang, Wen-Neng Chang, Tsu-Kung Lin, Cheng-Hsien Lu, Shang-Der Chen, Chi-Ren Huang
Seizure: the Journal of the British Epilepsy Association 2006, 15 (2): 98-105
We evaluated 22 patients with epileptic seizures in which the seizures were triggered by various games or game-related materials. Based on whether spontaneous seizure coexisted or not, these 22 patients were divided into two groups. Ten patients who experienced seizures exclusively while playing or watching specific games were referred to as Group I, while 12 patients that had both game-induced and spontaneous seizures were classified as Group II. The patients in Group I had a middle-age onset (39.1 years) with a male predominance (90%). The electroencephalogram (EEG) or brain magnetic resonance imaging revealed non-specific abnormalities in 60%, and the partial onset seizure was recognized in 30% of patients. Antiepileptic drugs had uncertain benefits in this group. In Group II, patients had a male predominance (67%), with onset during adolescence (16.3 years). Most of them had generalized tonic-clonic seizures, myoclonic seizures, and absences, and 42% showed epileptiform discharge on EEG. These 12 patients were categorized into idiopathic generalized epilepsies. Although photosensitivity was an important factor, higher mental activity seemed to be significant precipitants of seizures in Group II. Antiepileptic drugs were necessary and valproic acid alone or combined with clonazepam was effective in this group. The results showed that game-related seizures are not a unique and homogeneous syndrome and may consist of different mechanisms. Teenage onset, coexistent spontaneous seizure, and associated idiopathic generalized epilepsies were crucial factors in the determination of antiepileptic drug therapy. Moreover, avoiding the related games altogether may be a more productive preventive measure.

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