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Eur Neurol. 1987;27(4):201-8.

Influence of television on photosensitive epileptics.

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Neurological University Clinic Vienna, Austria.


We examined 32 epileptics (20 female; 12 male; aged 6-73 years) who had displayed photoconvulsive reactions to flickering light in the EEG; they were examined with regard to their risks of getting epileptic seizures upon watching television (TV) under certain conditions. On a colour TV set each patient was shown a 3-min videofilm with slow- and fast-moving parts under 16 different conditions. The conditions had the following variables: (1) colour - monochrome; (2) dark room - light room, and (3) four different distances from the screen. In addition, each patient was subjected for 3 min to manipulated image interferences, including the vertical rolling of the picture. The results of this TV stimulation were always negative, i.e. in no patient did TV provoke a reproducible paroxysmal discharge in the EEG, nor was there any epileptic seizure. Our findings are discussed in connection with the corresponding literature.

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