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Old 02-28-2011, 11:28 AM
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Is there a "Neurological Explanation" for seizures that only happen in your sleep...


...right before you wake up? I couldn't fit the entire question in the title lol Almost all of my seizures happen within one hour of waking up.

#1 How many others on the forum have a similar pattern to their seizures?

#2 Has anyone's Neurologist ever given an explanation for these types of seizures?
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:38 AM
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Mine happen around 3 or 4am. It appears to be the time that my brain is in transition between deep sleep and a lighter sleep. It seems that crossing that threshold will be a trigger for me.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:38 AM
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I have that. Mine have now become only when I sleep since stopping Neurontin. My neurologist seems to think that my seizures are purely psychogenic because they werent caught on the EEG. Yet, there is documented proof that psychogenic seizures do not happen ever during sleep.

It could be a sleep pattern that causes it, even sleep apnea. Could even be a night terror I guess. But more than likely it is a seizure and the docs just arent listening.

Everyone's brain is different. So everyone;s seizure threshold is different. It is my personal opinion that there is no such thing as a psychogenic seizure, but that someones body/brain reacts with a seizure at a much lower hertz or electrical discharge than some other people. Even amongst epileptics. So for example if John Doe 's electrical discharge is large and is easily captured on an EEG, then Jane Smiths may be tiny and almost non-existant and not caught on an EEG. The brain is a delicate organ and I think that some people MUST retain a balance and the slightest change will cause a seizure.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:43 AM
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I had one this morning that was pretty strong. I did drink three wines last night which may have caused the whole thing. But almost all of my seizres happen in my sleep whether I have any alcohol or not.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:54 AM
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Are they partial seizures? Some studies show a correlation between the area of the brain where partial seizures originate, and the time of day that they occur:

-- Occipital seizure occurrence peak between 4:00PM and 7:00PM
-- Parietal seizures peak between 4:00AM and 7:00AM
-- Frontal lobe seizures peak between 4:00AM and 7:00AM
-- Mesial temporal lobe seizures have a primary peak in the late afternoon between 4:00PM and 7:00PM and secondary peak in the morning between 7:00AM and 10:00AM.

These are just averages, but there's a definite statistical link. It's not entirely clear why this correlation exists -- most likely some combination of circadian rhythms (24-hour body clock) and external rhythms (like meals and sunlight).
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:58 AM
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Yes they are partial seizures. I don't feel them coming on because I am sleeping at the time but they wake me up afterwords. With the usual confusion after a seizure.
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:10 PM
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All of my tonic clonic's are nocturnal now. Mine usually occur between 3-5 am. Although I prefer when they occur earlier so I feel awful instead of really awful when I wake up a few hours later.
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:29 PM
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Most of my seizures happen between 2-4am. I have temporal lobe epilepsy. My epileptologist says it's not unusual - that when people switch between brain wave frequencies it's a high-probability time for a seizure.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:26 PM
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A response to a similar question by Dr Blaylock:

Quote :
Since seizures often occur during sleep, they are
frequently not diagnosed. There are many newer
observations concerning seizures that can offer new
ways to control them. One of the links most often
overlooked by physicians and even neurologists is
hypoglycemia. We know that, in healthy people,
dropping the blood sugar rapidly can precipitate a
seizure, and those prone to seizures are much more
sensitive to hypoglycemia.
Studies have shown that a buildup of the
excitotoxin glutamate in the brain triggers the
majority of seizures, and most of the newer
antiseizure medications block glutamate receptors in
the brain. When blood sugar falls, brain glutamate
levels rise. So, avoid sugar and high glycemic foods,
especially around bedtime. Potato chips are a major
culprit, especially those with excitotoxin additives,
like MSG. Magnesium plays a major role in
regulating glutamate receptors and has been shown
to reduce seizure risk. Take the magnesium three
times a day. The last dose should be made by mixing
500 milligrams of magnesium citrate/malate with 4
ounces of water. This allows rapid absorption and
promotes good blood levels.
Another anti-seizure supplement is L-carnosine, a
natural compound that suppresses seizures triggered
by excitotoxins. It also protects the brain. The dose
is 500 milligrams three times a day, to be taken 30
minutes before each meal.
DHA, which promotes brain development and
repair, has been shown to reduce seizures as well.
The dose is 1,000 milligrams a day. Omega-6 oils
increase the incidence of seizures, so they should be
avoided as much as possible. It has also been shown
that all antioxidants reduce seizures, especially if
used in combination. Vitamin B-6 (as pyridoxal
5-phosphate) reduces brain glutamate levels and can
reduce seizure risk. The dose is 25 milligrams to 30
milligrams a day. Melatonin (time-released form) is
another nutrient that helps: Take 3 milligrams to 9
milligrams 30 minutes before bedtime
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  #10  
Old 03-01-2011, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by RobinN View Post:
A response to a similar question by Dr Blaylock:
Thanks for the info Robin. It makes a lot of sense. I had 3 glasses of wine a couple of nights ago and had a fairly big seizure in my sleep right before waking up the next morning. I am on Synthroid for hypothyroidism so I have a feeling the Synthroid isn't totally doing it's job. I might just go to a walk-in clinic and get a total Thyroid panel done instead of the regular Dr only testing for TSH and saying everything is OK without knowing all the facts.
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by forward2007 View Post:
Yes they are partial seizures. I don't feel them coming on because I am sleeping at the time but they wake me up afterwords. With the usual confusion after a seizure.
This is the same as me--All mine are partial and when I have them in my sleep, I always have the same dream--the only thing that changes is the scenery. I wake up after it's over and I know I've had one because of the way I feel. Not the same as waking up after a regular dream. Also, they seem to all happen at 3 or 4 in the morning.
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Old 03-01-2011, 02:19 PM
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Forward2007,

You are showing signs of mild Sleep Apnea.

There is definately a connection between Ep and Sleep Apnea.
While sleeping, There is a restriction in the air way causing you to snore and/or "fight" for air and as a result, there is a lack of oxygen to the brain possibly triggering a seizure or causing you to wake up "post ictal" or unrested.

After my sleep disorders test the Dr. showed me the EEG from one night, I would stop breathing up to 50 times/hour and had 3 seizures and that I was waking up "post ictal" (moody and spaced out)
I have since purchased a CPAP machine which provides constant air pressure and have noticed a vast improvement.
No more snoring (the whole family sleeps better now), more energy when I wake up, better REM sleep, improved memory (less short term memory loss), and most of all ~ NO MORE NIGHT SEIZURES.

Randy
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by RanMan View Post:
Forward2007,

You are showing signs of mild Sleep Apnea.

There is definately a connection between Ep and Sleep Apnea.
While sleeping, There is a restriction in the air way causing you to snore and/or "fight" for air and as a result, there is a lack of oxygen to the brain possibly triggering a seizure or causing you to wake up "post ictal" or unrested.

After my sleep disorders test the Dr. showed me the EEG from one night, I would stop breathing up to 50 times/hour and had 3 seizures and that I was waking up "post ictal" (moody and spaced out)
I have since purchased a CPAP machine which provides constant air pressure and have noticed a vast improvement.
No more snoring (the whole family sleeps better now), more energy when I wake up, better REM sleep, improved memory (less short term memory loss), and most of all ~ NO MORE NIGHT SEIZURES.

Randy
Hi Randy. I actually was diagnosed with sleep apnea and already sleep with a CPAP machine. I honestly think at least for me the sleep apnea and night seizures are from the thyroid/hypoglycemia issues. If I can get my nighttime blood sugar figured out I think I will not have sleep apnea anymore. Let alone the seizures at night. Still getting off tegretol to see if the thyroid improves at all. I'm already on Synthroid. You are right on by the way when you describe the feeling during waking up from these seizures as spaced out.

Last edited by forward2007; 03-01-2011 at 06:27 PM.
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:37 AM
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I also had had three glasses of wine the night before and just read that alcohol can empty the liver of glycogen and cause hypoglycemia.
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Old 03-04-2011, 04:45 PM
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My son's all happen between 5 and 7 am.
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Old 07-31-2011, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by RobinN View Post:
A response to a similar question by Dr Blaylock:
Just be careful as Dr. Blaylock is known to contradict things that have been scientifically proven.
Quote :
Blaylock has been quoted several times in media outlets regarding his position that MSG is toxic to the brain.[11][12][13] He also states that the widely-used artificial sweetener aspartame is toxic[14][15] and may be the cause of multiple sclerosis.[16] He has additionally cautioned against heavy use of the artificial sweetener Splenda (sucralose).[17] These positions are not supported by scientific consensus or regulatory bodies, as extensive studies support the safety of aspartame, sucralose, and MSG.[2][3][18]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell_Blaylock
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Old 08-01-2011, 02:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Ethan's Mom View Post:
My son's all happen between 5 and 7 am.
That is a good thing to note, as my daughters were mostly between 10 am and 1 pm. This information was very helpful to me when I was searching for the cause.
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:47 PM
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Interesting thread. My T/C seizures have occurred 99% of the time right after I doze off. I mean within 30 min. when I start to come around it feels like it is hours later. I have sworn off artificial sweetners, unless it is not listed as an ingredient and I get it by accident. Can't say the same about sugar! I do eat every 3 to 4 hours to keep my blood sugar up.
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Old 08-01-2011, 04:36 PM
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<post snipped for emphasis>
Originally Posted by Rae1889 View Post:
Everyone's brain is different. So everyone;s seizure threshold is different. It is my personal opinion that there is no such thing as a psychogenic seizure, but that someones body/brain reacts with a seizure at a much lower hertz or electrical discharge than some other people. Even amongst epileptics. So for example if John Doe 's electrical discharge is large and is easily captured on an EEG, then Jane Smiths may be tiny and almost non-existant and not caught on an EEG. The brain is a delicate organ and I think that some people MUST retain a balance and the slightest change will cause a seizure.
An excellent post, Rae, and a great question from the OP. Thanks.

Robin and Nakamova, thanks for your informative posts as well. I'm aware that the OP isn't about MSG, and I'm not here to debate the 'facts', but rather to say that I concur with Robin's post from a personal perspective. When I have nocturnal seizures, they are generally between 2 & 4 AM, sometimes earlier, sometimes later. Part of coping with epilepsy was finding triggers. I had to go through an extensive process of elimination in order to curtail them, which took several years of experimentation and ever continues. Higher concentrations of glutamate in supplements and protein drinks, plus MSG, which is found in most process foods, were triggers for me. I would get heart palpitations, major sweats, and a few hours later, anxiety, agitation and auras. Sometimes I got migraines. Most can eat peanuts and be nourished. Some eat them and can go into shock and die. Like Rae stated in her post, every brain and threshold is uniquely different. There has been little funding in this area because epilepsy studies are underfunded in the first place, unless it generally has to do with pharmaceuticals.

Quote :

Monosodium glutamate neonatal treatment as a seizure and excitotoxic model.
Departamento de Biología Celular y Molecular, Centro Universitario de Ciencias Biológicas y Agropecuarias, Universidad de Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.
2010 Mar 4;1317:246-56. Epub 2010 Jan 4.

Abstract

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) subcutaneously administrated to neonatal rats induces several neurochemical alterations in the brain, which have been associated with an excitotoxic process triggered by an over activation of glutamate receptors;

These biochemical modifications were accompanied with behavioral alterations characterized by: screeching, tail stiffness, head nodding, emprosthotonic flexion episodes and generalized tonic-clonic convulsions, which were associated with electroencephalographic pattern alterations.

Altered behavior found in animals treated with MSG suggests an initial seizure situation. Although four MSG administrations were used, the most relevant findings were observed after the first and second administrations at PD1 and PD3, suggesting that only two MSG injections could be sufficient to resemble a seizure and/or excitotoxic model.

PMID:
20043888
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Quote :
Exogenous glutamate enhances glutamate receptor subunit expression during selective
neuronal injury in the ventral arcuate nucleus of postnatal mice.

Aug;68(2):77-88.
Department of Ob/Gyn and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143-0556, USA.

Abstract
Administration of high doses of glutamate (Glu) leads to selective neurodegeneration in discrete brain regions near circumventriclular organs of the early postnatal mouse. Higher doses of 0.3-0.5 mg MSG caused injury to additional neurons situated farther lateral...

These results extend previous reports of Glu sensitivity in the ARC-ME region of 7-day postnatal mice. A dose of 0.2 mg MSG/g BW s.c. [B]causes clear but discrete injury to specific subependymal neurons of undetermined phenotype near the base of the third ventricle. Slightly higher doses of MSG evoke damage of additional neurons confined to the ventral region of the ARC traversed by tanycytes.

Quote :
A study of the effects of lamotrigine on mice using two convulsive tests.
2011 Apr-Jun;53(2):57-62.

Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University, Plovdiv, Bulgaria. dgetova@yahoo.com

Abstract
The AIM was to study the effects of lamotrigine on bicuculline and pentylenetetrazol models of epilepsy.

RESULTS
: The controls showed bicuculline-induced seizure intensity up to 5. Lamotrigine in the higher doses used decreased the seizure intensity (p <0.05). Controls treated with pentylenetetrazol showed seizure intensity up to 4. Lamotrigine in the highest dose decreased the pentylenetetrazol-induced seizure intensity (p < 0.05). Lamotrigine in all studied doses increased the latency to the first pentylenetetrazol-induced seizure compared with the controls (p < 0.05). Both convulsing drugs influence the brain GABA-ergic transmitter system by competitively blocking GABAA receptors. Lamotrigine inhibits glutamate transmission and sodium channels. [B]Both neurotransmissions - glutamate and GABA are closely related in seizure control.

PMID:
21797108
[PubMed - in process]

Quote :
The role of glutamate in epilepsy and other CNS disorders.
Department of Neurology, Institute of Psychiatry, London, United Kingdom.

Glutamate is the principal excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain and, as such, it inevitably plays a role in the initiation and spread of seizure activity. It also plays a critical role in epileptogenesis.

Microdialysis studies show an increase in the extracellular concentration of glutamate and aspartate before or during seizure onset, suggesting that either enhanced amino acid release or impaired uptake contributes to seizure initiation. Glutamate antagonists selective for NMDA or non-NMDA receptors are potent anticonvulsants when given systemically in a wide variety of animal models of epilepsy.

PMID:
7970002
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

www .ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

To reiterate, I'm not here to debate MSG, artificial sweeteners, etc. It's not up for debate for me, personally. Finding triggers from within my environment, including diet, have been most beneficial in curtailing seizure activity. It wasn't just 'one' cause, but several factors I needed to addressed. Had I waited around for the medical and research community to get their priorities straight, I doubt I'd be here to write this post. The proof is in the pudding, as they say.

The best advise I ever got was "listen to your body".

IMO, not all GP's & medical specialists have been wired to be completely inefficient and useless as healers. There are actually some who really care, listen, and are generally up-to-date with the latest research. However, that seems rare. I love this quote by Behavioral Neuroscientist, Michael Persinger, lol:

"When you're one step ahead of the crowd, you're considered a genius.

When you're two steps ahead of the crowd, you're considered crazy."


Haha, I see a lot of 'crazy' people here.

Last edited by NeuroNotes; 08-01-2011 at 04:38 PM.
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