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Pediatr Neurol. 2002 Nov;27(5):350-5.

A comparison survey of seizures and other symptoms of Pokemon phenomenon.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Showa University, School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.

Abstract

On 16 December 1997, many Japanese children developed neurologic problems while watching the animated television series Pokemon. This study included children who visited the outpatient departments of 14 pediatric clinics for other reasons within 2 months after this incident. Volunteering children and parents or guardians were asked to complete questionnaires. We obtained 1,373 replies (including 800 males, 558 females, and 15 children without information on sex; mean age, 6.8 +/- 3.5 years). The majority of children included in this study (80%) watched this program, and 67 (6.1%; 40 males, 27 females) were affected by the program. There were 10 patients with seizures (0.9%; four males and six females). Fifty-seven patients developed other symptoms. Compared with nonaffected children, significantly more affected children reported that they concentrated on watching this program, watched it at a short distance from the screen, and did not watch this program in a brightly lit room. Seizures tended to occur in older children (average = 10.8 years) and in children with a high rate of familial histories of seizures. Symptoms other than seizures occurred more frequently, and autonomic and psychologic factors, such as motion sickness, could be considered possible mechanisms. Children who developed symptoms seemed to have problems in viewing conditions.

PMID:
12504202
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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