Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mysterious form of epilepsy triggered by Hannah Montana

One song sung by Hannah Montana (the blond alter-ego of Miley Cyrus) sent a 12-year-old Florida girl into seizures.

Randy Dotinga writes: Teen sensation Hannah Montana makes a Florida girl shake all over. The problem: She can't make it stop.

Certain sounds -- barking dogs, the clash of cymbals and a song by the alter ego of celebrity offspring Miley Cyrus -- all trigger seizures in the girl, making her body shake and jerk forward.

The 12-year-old has a mysterious form of epilepsy that's set off when sufferers hear, see or feel a trigger. Warm water, Beethoven music and even a specific kind of font can all spawn seizures.

You may have heard about this kind of thing before: In 1997, hundreds of Japanese kids suffered seizures triggered by the flashing lights of a Pokemon cartoon. In 1991, a doctor reported that an American woman suffered attacks when she heard the voice of "Entertainment Tonight" host Mary Hart.

In the Florida girl's case, low baritone-type sounds like dog barks caused as many as 25-30 seizures a day, says Dr. Paul R. Carney, a pediatric neurologist and professor at the University of Florida. The girl likes music, he says, but found that some songs could trigger a seizure, including one by Hannah Montana. (He doesn't recall the title.)

At first, doctors figured she needed a shrink. But that didn't help, and she ended up seeing Carney, who diagnosed a condition called "reflex epilepsy" about two years ago.

People with the condition seem to suffer seizures when the circuitry of the brain processes a trigger (like a sound) and amplifies it, says Dr. James Geyer, a neurologist and epilepsy specialist in Tuscaloosa, Ala. "It's like abnormal feedback off a microphone," he says, and may be related to a glitch in the body's "startle" response. ...

via The Body Odd - Mysterious form of epilepsy triggered by Hannah Montana.


Nathaniel said...

Don't forget about the Seinfeld episode where this happened to Kramer.

pyrodin said...

Wonder if its a response to growing up in front of the of tv, all that noise, light and radiation, all flashing on and off at various frequencies. Is it possible that it makes you sensitive to it after a while? And don't forget our benevolent Gov. probably uses tv for various experiments on the population....Could be a side effect, hell, could be the main effect...

Sam said...

My son has this condition, along with a number of others. He's had it practically since birth, so not likely a "response." Certain neurological changes can cause it. It's not that odd, really, when you consider that sight and smell also can produce seizures. Same thing. A smell, a light, a sound, whatever, it throws that switch and there's the seizure.