Clue to unexplained deaths of epilepsy patients
A new study led by Masud Seyal, professor of neurology and director of the UC Davis Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, suggests that the sudden unexplained deaths of some epilepsy patients may be a result of their brains failing to tell their bodies to breathe during seizures. Published online in the journal Brain, the study found that in some cases of sudden unexplained death in epilepsy patients, blood-oxygen levels dropped below 70 percent during their seizures. A level of 85 percent or below typically requires intervention. The study suggests that hospitals monitoring inpatients for seizures should use both continuous blood-oxygen monitoring that sets off alarms when blood levels are too low, as well as around-the-clock monitoring by staff or relatives..