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Old 06-27-2009, 07:06 PM
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Sneezing setting off SPS

Okay-just a simple wondering on my part. I am trying to figure out a pattern and definite triggers to my simple partial seizures. I have the olfactory aura as an exclusive manifestation, so the "turning on" of the bad burnt type smell is the only way I know I've had a seizure. Usually they just trigger for no perceptible reason-I could be in the shower, sitting comfortably in a chair, getting my breakfast- and poof, there goes the smell. Well, a few times I have noticed that a sneeze set off the seizure. Only have noticed this on the rarer days where I haven't had the aura, but with medication increases, I am seeming to have better results, so I am getting more days clear finally. (recently I had 5 days in a row free of the aura, and currently it's been almost 2 1/2 days in the clear!)
A sneeze is what ended my 5 days in a row reign of no seizures! But of course, most of the time a sneeze doesn't cause this-just a few times. It's weird. I had one then the next day after the sneeze trigger one this week, but then have now had these last 2 1 /2 days clear. Just curious if anyone else has ever noticed sneezing as a trigger.
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:46 AM
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Hi there --

The changes in brain activity that lead to a seizure have been measured as much as 48 hours before the actual seizure, so even though it may feel like the sneeze is the cause, the actual trigger is usually something that occurs earlier.

You might want to check out the article about sneezing below.

The part of it that refers to seizures says that a sneeze is more likely a warning sign or symptom of an oncoming seizure rather than a cause. There are parts of the brain, that when stimulated, can cause you to seize. So when the neurons are beginning to be overstimulated, a sneeze can result, as well as the seizure itself.

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Old 06-29-2009, 09:23 AM
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Interesting-thanks. I do know that temporal lobe epilepsy has implications with runny noses and such. And my simple partial seizures are in the right temporal lobe region.
In my case though, the burn smell actually turned on the split second after I sneezed, and the burn smell is the only clear-cut indicator that I have simple partial seizures. Mine is just that localized and specific. The smell abruptly turns on, like poof, light switch, out of nowhere. I smell normally and then poof, there it goes. I have had three or four instances where it turned right on after sneezing which has me pondering if there is a percussive type of force that can set it off. 99% of the time I am doing nothing of significance-just walking around, or at my desk, sitting in a chair, and there it goes. But a few times when I've had a clear day, a nighttime sneeze turned that burn smell right on, and the burn smell is the only indicator that I've had a seizure.

Last edited by k2s4ever; 06-29-2009 at 09:26 AM. Reason: addition
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