10-08-2017| 'Selfies' triggering seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy

10 August 2017
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A teenager was admitted into a hospital room for three days in a Canadian hospital room where she was hooked up to an electroencephalogram (EEG) and watched by a camera for her routine epilepsy assessment.

The results of her EEG were normal except for two random bursts of activity on the areas of the brain associated with epileptic seizures. When doctors looked at the video, it showed that each time she would take a selfie, these random bursts would occur. Doctors are calling this phenomenon selfie-epilepsy. There is a setting on some phones with a specific flash that reduces the red eye effect in photos, which is suggested to be the cause of the bursts based on the slight light rhythm but other factors like the phones flash that could also possibly cause seizures.

Selfies have been taken during a broad string of accidents. People take them while they are driving, on the edge of cliffs, high buildings, and holding loaded guns. Someone could have a seizure during any of these situations, and the outcome could be fatal. If taking a selfie proves to be a real issue, then photosensitive people with epilepsy would be counseled on the risks of taking selfies.

Article source: EpilepsyU

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