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Pediatrics. 1994 Apr;93(4):551-6.

Video game-related seizures: a report on 10 patients and a review of the literature.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital and Medical Center, Seattle, WA 98105.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To further describe the features, postulated pathophysiology, treatment, and outcome of seizures occurring while playing or watching video games (video game-related seizures (VGRS)).

DESIGN:

We evaluated retrospectively 10 patients with VGRS seen by us and reviewed 25 reported cases.

RESULTS:

The 35 patients ranged in age from 1 to 36 years (mean: 13.2); and 26 subjects (74%) were male. Eight individuals (29%) had prior infrequent nonfebrile seizures, 4 (11%) had febrile convulsions, and 2 (6%) had a family history of epilepsy. VGRS consisted of generalized tonic-clonic seizures in 22 of 35 individuals (63%); absences in 2 (6%); simple partial seizures in 6 (19%); complex partial seizures in 4 (11%); and other manifestations in 4. Neurologic examination and computed tomographic and magnetic resonance imaging scans were normal. Electroencephalograms demonstrated generalized or focal, interictal or ictal epileptic patterns in 11 of 21 patients (52%) and photoparoxysmal responses in 17 of 32 (53%). Eleven of 15 individuals (73%) treated with video game (VG) abstinence alone, 3 of 6 who received anticonvulsants but played VGs, and 7 of 12 treated with combined VG abstinence and anticonvulsants had no further seizures.

CONCLUSIONS:

We postulate that a special convulsive susceptibility of selected neurons in striate, peristriate, infratemporal, and posterior parietal cortices to particular visual stimuli plays a major role in VGRS. VG abstinence is the treatment of choice of VGRS. Anticonvulsant medication is suggested only for those individuals who continue to play VGs or suffer from seizures triggered by other, unavoidable visual stimuli, or from unprovoked attacks.

PMID:
8134207
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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