Child Behavior Community
14.2k Members
Avatar universal

vasovagal syncope

My son was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome when he was 14 years old. We adopted him as an infant. His biological mother found him when he was a freshman in high school. After she found him, he started having fainting spellls and with some of these spells, he had Gran Mal seizures as well. We have been to several doctors with him from neurologists to cardiologists to psychiatrists and psychologists. The last doctor was a former DAN doctor and her diagnosis was that basically he was not able to rid his body of heavy metals so she put him on a vitamin supplement program and changed some of his diet habits. We thought it helped at first but the spells always come back and are more frequent. Some doctors have thought it was Jacksonian seizures. After doing some research, I keep coming up with Vasovagal Syndrome. He is currently on Paxil but the spells increased in November and most of December to 2 to 3 times a day. Last weekend he went down 3 times in 20 minutes and was very tired after the spells were over. When he comes out of the spell, he is cognitive of everything around him and has not forgotten or is not incoherent. He is very tired and sleeps for a few hours after a spell. This has caused him to take Incompletes for some classes and withdraw from others for the fall semester. He is registered to return to school in a couple weeks. I am wondering if there is any suggestions for a doctor that may specialize in the fainting spells with some seizure activity. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

This discussion is related to fainting spells with seizure activity.
9 Responses
13167 tn?1327197724
pegleg,  this isn't a doctor moderated forum,  but you will probably still get good help.

Are you aware that Paxil should be discontinued if the patient develops/has seizures?  Paxil is an antidepressant/anti anxiety drug,  not an antiseizure medication and should be stopped if a seizure occurs.

I would call the pharmacist today,  or if your doctor has an afterhours phone number and get help with this - I think it's a real concern he's been put on this drug.

Best wishes.

Website for info:

13167 tn?1327197724
I didn't word that carefully enough.  Obviously, don't take my word for it,  I just really hope you are able to get advice from your pharmacist or his doctor very soon.

Best wishes.
Avatar universal
Unfortunately, we have tried anti-seizure medication and they have increased the number of fainting/seizure spells. Paxil has slowed them down because the doctors seem to agree that they are more anxiety related so this is the last medicine they have decided to try for it. Thanks for the information.
470168 tn?1237474845
As the seizures seemed to start after he met his biological mother, have you considered the link?  The anxiety may have increased with this.  It might be beneficial if you could find a Play Therapist who could maybe work through some of the emotions with him.  You would need to find one that has experience of autism and aspergers.  Although he is 14 they should have many different ways of identifying what his emotional or anxiety concerns are and help him to work through them.  So don't think he is too old to 'play', because it is much more subtle than that.
I presume you have talked with him about his biological mother and what he thinks and feels about that.  
With my son, who is high functioning autistic, I often find that he does not approach me with questions or ask for information even about things that are worrying him.  I have to ask him direct and precise questions to get an answer out of him.  
Does he have sensory issues and does he tend to get overstimulated?
Avatar universal
Yes, I have thought there is some connection between his biological mother finding him and the spells. We mentioned this to the psychiatrist who diagnosed him with Asperger's but I don't think she did any play therapy with him. It seemed that a lot of the time we spent was with her asking Jerry about his feelings and how things were going for him. He is very smart and can tell you what he thinks you want to hear. I have asked him some direct questions but he does not let us know his true feelings. The fact that his last spell was on January 1st and he is at his in-laws home (he is 22 now), we are not sure that this is still the problem for the spells. We are seeing a neurologist and I am going to ask her about the salt intake mentioned in another section of comments.

There are times when he goes down that his heart is racing when he is out but at other times his pulse and heart rate are normal or slow. We have done a 24 hour halter monitor twice now and it has not shown anything abnormal with his heart. Yes, he did go down a couple times with the monitor on. We have also done a 24 hour EEG monitor and he went down with it on as well. Nothing showed in this test either at the time. I am just worried that one of these times when he goes down, he will really hurt himself or hit his head on something and cause a severe head injury or worse.
13167 tn?1327197724
pegleg,   I keep thinking about his situation.  Does he actually lose consciousness during these spells?  For about how long?

The way you describe it,  it almost sounds like narcolepsy except he doesn't have the symptoms of being tired all the time.
Avatar universal
Yes, he does lose consciousness and it is from 2 to 5 minutes and then he is awake and sometimes he can talk to you but sometimes he loses his voice for another 5 to 10 minutes. He has told us that when he is unconscious, he can hear what people around him are saying about him and to each other. He has even told us things that we have said while he is unconscious.
13167 tn?1327197724
pegleg, by "loses his voice" do you mean do you mean he can mouth words and breathe like a whisper,  but he can't actually engage his vocal chords,  or do you mean he can't speak at all - not even to move his lips and form words although he can think them?

Two summers ago I had a grand mal seizure due to excessive water intake.  I was trying to stave off an oncoming migraine and heard you just chug water.  Big mistake.  ;D  Anyway.

When my seizure began,  I was totally cognitive of everything going on around me,  including that the chicken in my oven was beginning to burn,  but I couldn't speak or move,  although I could smell the chicken start to burn.  My teenage boys were there in the room with me and didn't notice anything at all until one tried to talk to me,  and I couldn't respond or move at all.  I could hear him talking to me,  and remember well what was said.  At that point I started to feel like I was in that weird almost sleep state - you know when you're almost asleep how the sounds kind of fade out and you're completely relaxed?  Then I am unaware of anything else until I woke up in the ambulance.   At that point I was completely cognitive,  but I couldn't answer the EMT who was asking me questions - I know the questions,  I couldn't form the words,  or even begin the process of forming the words.  I could just stare at him.

Is that what it's like for him?  I had a rapid drop in electrolytes due to water intoxication,  and I saw earlier in this thread you mentioned salt intake.  Has his blood been checked for electrolytes following one of these episodes?

Avatar universal
In addition to all of the other items with him, he is very needle phobic so no his blood has not been checked during or after one of these episodes. We have suggested to the emergency room that if they need to draw blood, do it during the episode but they refuse to do that. If a needle is mentioned, he tends to either pass out again and if it is mentioned while he is passed out, the tremors and shaking start.

I mean he cannot engage his vocal chords. He can write things or text notes on his cell phone but he cannot engage his vocal chords.

One thing I didn't mention is that if it is too hot somewhere, he also passes out. We have walked into places before that were a little warm, he has been there for a very short time and just passes out.
Have an Answer?
Top Children's Health Answerers
189897 tn?1441130118
San Pedro, CA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Fearing autism, many parents aren't vaccinating their kids. Can doctors reverse this dangerous trend?
Is a gluten-free diet right for you?
We answer your top questions about the flu vaccine.
Learn which over-the-counter medicines are safe for you and your baby
Yummy eats that will keep your child healthy and happy
Healing home remedies for common ailments