New research shows that stomach sleepers with epilepsy may be at higher risk of sudden unexpected death, drawing parallels to sudden infant death syndrome in babies. The study is published in the January 21, 2015, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes repeated seizures and affects an estimated 50 million people worldwide.
“Sudden unexpected death is the main cause of death in uncontrolled epilepsy and usually occurs unwitnessed during sleep,” said study author James Tao, MD, PhD, with the University of Chicago in Illinois and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.
People with tonic clonic seizures (formerly known as grand mal seizures) that affect the entire brain are more likely to die suddenly than people with partial seizures that affect an area of the brain.
For the study, researchers reviewed 25 studies that included 253 sudden unexpected death cases where body position was recorded.
The study found that 73 percent of the cases died in the stomach sleep position, whereas 27 percent died in other sleep positions. Looking at a subgroup of 88 people, researchers found that people younger than 40 were four times more likely to be found on their stomachs at the time of sudden death than people over 40. A total of 86 percent of those under 40 were sleeping on their stomachs, compared to 60 percent for those over the age of 40.
“We’re not sure why this was more common in younger people,” Tao said. “It may be that they are more likely to be single and not have anyone with them during a seizure while sleeping.” He noted that a person sleeping with someone who has a generalized tonic clonic seizure while on their stomach should help them turn over or on the side during or after the seizure.
A total of 11 cases of sudden death have occurred while the people were being monitored with video EEG and their sleeping position was recorded. In all of those cases, all the people were died in a prone position, and most of these people were sleeping on their stomachs before the terminal seizures.
“Similar to infant SIDS cases, adults often have an impaired ability to wake up after a seizure, especially a general seizure,” Tao said.
“Our findings highlight an important strategy for preventing sudden unexpected death in epilepsy—that ‘back is best,’” Tao said. “Using wrist watches and bed alarms designed to detect seizures during sleep may also help prevent these deaths.”
To learn more about epilepsy, please visit www.aan.com/patients
The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 28,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.
For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit http://www.aan.com
Rachel L. Seroka | American Academy of Neurology
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy