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Epilepsies and video games: results of a multicentric study.

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1
Hospital Debrousse, Lyon, France.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The purpose of this study was to research whether or not video games may induce paroxysmal discharges (PD) in different groups of patients.

METHODS:

One hundred and fifteen subjects from 5 different French laboratories were studied: 33 had seizures exclusively under visual stimuli, 42 had both photogenic seizures and spontaneous seizures occuring independently, and 40 had non-photogenic seizures. The same protocol which included one TV sequence, 3 sequences of video games selected on particular criteria (pattern, luminosity and nature of the scene), were presented at different distances from the TV screen at 50 and 100 Hz.

RESULTS:

Among the factors provoking paroxysmal discharges (PD) some seem crucial: the frequency of the TV screen (the 100 Hz screen was significantly safer than 50 Hz), the distance from the screen (1 m safer than 50 cm), and, particularly for the 50 Hz screen, the specific pattern of the images and the act of playing.

CONCLUSIONS:

Video games are ineffective for subjects known as having a non-photosensitive epilepsy, but may induce PD on subjects known as photosensitive even when intermittent light stimulation (ILS) is not effective. These results based on a different approach than in other publications confirm data which were suggested by the literature, and suggest that 100 Hz TV screens should be recommended to patients with TV-induced attacks.

PMID:
9922088
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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