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July 31, 2007

Roberts Doing Fine, But Likely Epileptic

I have to think he's either got a very mild case of it or, due to his good lifestyle (little drinking, moderate use of stimulants like coffee, good sleeping schedule) he just barely ever tugs at the seizure trip-wire.

"The chief justice assured him that he was doing fine," White House press secretary Tony Snow said. "The president was reassured."

Roberts "sounded like he was in great spirits," Snow said, relaying details of the phone call.

Doctors who examined Roberts after his seizure said they found no tumor, stroke or any other explanation for the episode.

Roberts, 52, had a similar, unexplained attack in 1993.

...

By definition, someone who has had more than one seizure without any other cause is determined to have epilepsy, said Dr. Marc Schlosberg, a Washington Hospital Center neurologist who is not involved in the Roberts case.

Whether Roberts will need anti-seizure medications to prevent another is something he and his doctor will have to decide. But after two seizures, the likelihood of another at some point is greater than 60 percent.

Epilepsy is merely a term for a seizure disorder, but it is a loaded term because it makes people think of lots of seizures, cautioned Dr. Edward Mkrdichian, a neurosurgeon at the Chicago Institute of Neurosurgery and Neuroresearch.

Still, Mkrdichian said anyone who has had two otherwise unexplained seizures is at high risk for a third, and that he puts such patients on anti-seizure medications.

"Having two seizures so many years apart without any known culprit is going to be very difficult to figure out," agreed Dr. Max Lee of the Milwaukee Neurological Institute.

He was on a boat before the attack. Maybe the sun, heat, and a little dehydration just pushed him over the seizure threshold. A lot of epileptics have their symptoms triggered by bright rapidly-flashing lights, usually strobe type. Maybe some others can get it by less intense flashing, like the sun glancing off the water and windshield for a few hours. I know when they do testing for this they try different flashing light cycles, some of them relatively slow.



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posted by Ace at 02:26 PM

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