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Old 06-28-2009, 08:40 PM
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Can nicotine from second hand smoke cause seizures?

I was thinking the other day-

I wonder if Dr's or just people with epilepsy have ever questioned whether the Nicotine from second-hand smoke can cause seizures. Nicotine is a stimulant-and many stimulants are known to lower peoples' seizure thresholds.

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Old 06-28-2009, 08:42 PM
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:09 AM
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Oddly enough, nicotine both stimulates and soothes the brain (one reason why it is so addictive). At low doses (as from short quick puffs), nicotine significantly ups the actions of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, acting like a psychostimulant. At higher doses (as from long slow puffs), nicotine enhances the effect of serotonin and opiate activity, resulting in a calming, pain-killing effect.

(Some studies have shown that this sedative effect from higher blood levels of nicotine can be used to help adults suffering from a particular kind of nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy.)

Because of the way secondhand smoke is absorbed, it's unlikely that it would cause enough stimulation in the brain to cause a seizure, or that it would sedate the brain enough to prevent one. On the other hand, if you already have a low seizure threshold, or are extra-sensitive to smoke, it might be a stress that acts as contributing factor. At any rate, for many reasons it's best to avoid second hand smoke if at all possible!!

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Old 06-29-2009, 08:46 AM
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Second hand smoke contains a lot of carbon monoxide, which lowers your blood oxygen levels (which can be a seizure trigger).

Quote :
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas contained in tobacco smoke. When you inhale carbon monoxide, it destroys oxygen molecules in your red blood cells. As the amount of carbon monoxide increases in your blood, the cells of the blood become starved for oxygen. One study shows that after only 30 minutes in a smoke-filled room, the carbon monoxide level in a nonsmoker's blood increases along with blood pressure and heart beat. Exposure to second-hand smoke causes increased risk for asthma and bronchitis, and new studies indicate heart disease as well.
New to CWE? I suggest reading the proactive prescription and epilepsy 101 threads. Also check out this chart of alternative epilepsy treatments and this page on EEG Neurofeedback. More great stuff can be found in the list of the best forum threads.

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Old 08-05-2009, 11:10 PM
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One of my auras is the smell of cigarette smoke. Being near someone who is smoking can trigger this aura. Luckily, where I live no smoking is allowed in restaurants.
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