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Epilepsy Behav. 2010 Jul;18(3):238-46. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2010.04.011.

A prospective study of loss of consciousness in epilepsy using virtual reality driving simulation and other video games.

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Department of Neurology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520-8018, USA.


Patients with epilepsy are at risk of traffic accidents when they have seizures while driving. However, driving is an essential part of normal daily life in many communities, and depriving patients of driving privileges can have profound consequences for their economic and social well-being. In the current study, we collected ictal performance data from a driving simulator and two other video games in patients undergoing continuous video/EEG monitoring. We captured 22 seizures in 13 patients and found that driving impairment during seizures differed in terms of both magnitude and character, depending on the seizure type. Our study documents the feasibility of a prospective study of driving and other behaviors during seizures through the use of computer-based tasks. This methodology may be applied to further describe differential driving impairment in specific types of seizures and to gain data on anatomical networks disrupted in seizures that impair consciousness and driving safety.

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