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Seasonal Seizures / Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

I was just wondering if anyone out there has made any type of correlation with TLE and increased seizure activity between the months of Sept-May.

I personally don't have epilepsy.  My now ex-girlfriend was diagnosed with TLE about 8 years ago.  Over the past 4 years we spent an incredible amount of time together and I started seeing patterns in her seizures.  I would have to say that 98% of her seizures that I have witnessed have been between Sept-May.  During these months she also goes through extreme mood swings (anger, anxiety, extreme independence, arrogance), she seems to have hallucinations such as thinking she has said something when she didn't.  Also it seems like her timeline gets messed up.

I've seen a number of complex partials and a couple of tonic-clonic seizures.  What I'm most interested in is the simple partial seizures.  I'm no doctor by any stretch of the imagination but I've done quite a bit of research on TLE and how it pertains to her and I was wondering if the above listed symptoms could be from simple partials.

Looking back over the years, this seems to be getting progressively worse.  I know for a fact she has scar tissue in her left temporal lobe and that the seizures originate from the left lobe and move the right.  What I don't know is if the seizures are caused by the scaring or if the scaring is caused by the seizures.  What I'm afraid of is that it's snowballing on itself.

She's been to see a number of Neurologist and all they want to seem to do is pump her full of drugs or hack of a piece of her gray matter.  She doesn't have real good insurance so nobody seems to want to spend the time trying to find out what’s triggering the seizures.

I welcome anyone’s input.  Doctor or not.  
7 Responses
Avatar universal
I routinely see a change in my aura activity during the peak allergy pollen seasons of April, May, August and September.  I've been seizure free for 2 years due to Topomax (500 mg/day) and Lamictal (450 mg/day),  However, I have also been taking weekly allergy injections for the past 3 years and although I do not have the classic allergy symptoms of ruuny nose and itchy eyes, I am convinced that they are a major cause of my seizures
Avatar universal
My son is 22 months and as of today has had the following episodes:
-1 syncope episode     October 2007
-1 febrile seizure (although temp. was only 100.4)   March 2008
-1 seizure non-febrile    May 2008
Doctors MRI results in his own terminology was:  Temporal Lobe Scaring, ademo, swelling.  
(Possibilities: from the seizure or other unknown reasons)
MRI CONCLUSION results are as follows:
The posterior aspext of the right hippocampal body and tail is slightly enlarged and has mild increased FLAIR signal. The rest of the hippocampal formation is within normal limits. Differential diagnosis includes right hippocampus edema versus questionable early hippocampal sclerosis.  Clinical EEF correlation is recommended.  If clinically indicated, follow up MRI study in 6 months is suggested.

Medications prescribed prior to the MRI:  Tripletail 300 MG/5ML ORAL  
I have decided not to give my child any medication until further studies are conducted and I am 100% sure this is the best choice for my son.  (i.e. genetics testing, and follow up MRI's & EEG's)

This is all new to me and I am trying to research as much as possible.  I want to know 100% why this is happening to my child.    

***Additional Notes***
My child was given his first year vaccines on:
September 2007 (MMR, Varicella Flu #1 influenza vaccine)
October 2007 (Flu#2 Influenza vaccine)
Syncope/Seizure started 3 days after Flu#2 Influenza vaccine.  
I do not know 100% if this is the cause for my son’s problems and Doctors do not confirm either.
Avatar universal
My son is 11 yrs old and has severe autism. His epilepsy occurs at the same time of year (spring) he has no break through seizures during the rest of the year but fits non stop for 2-3 weeks. He has tonic/clonic as well as partial complex seizures. His only other coinciding symptom is snoring which also occurs at the same time but not for the rest of the year.

He apparantly does not have allergies or hay fever.
Im trying to find more about seasonal epilepsy but my doctor has never heard of it....
any suggestions?

Avatar universal
Look into high doses of vitamins D3 and C. I found these to be helpful for seasonal seizures. The seasonal link comes from vitamin D being produced by UV light from cholesterol. My body produces D poorly and D is necessary for adsorption of C. Vitamin C directly helps the brain to maintain a good working environment.
Avatar universal
The "seasonality" of seizures can be explained by a variety of factors, which vary with the individual. For photosensitive types, summer is generally more difficult, with longer days and more time spent outside. For people with allergies that can indirectly/directly trigger seizures through, for instance, altered breathing, then allergy season will increase the likelihood of seizures.

For Sep-May seizures, I wonder if the school year is an associated factor. Does this woman go to school as a student or teacher, or have a child or sibling in school. The demands of being in school may lower seizure threshold.

There's no easy way to identify the cause of a seizure disorder. The MMR and other vaccines haven't been found to be associated with the development of seizure disorders, at least not so far.

Unfortunately achieving 100% certainty in medicine is virtually impossible. I live with this myself and have seen it many times. I don't like it, but I've had to make choices with far less than 100% certainty because waiting was not a practical option. One thing about seizures: the more you have them, the more likely you become to have them again. So reducing seizure frequency and intensity is an important short- and long-term treatment goal best achieved quickly.
Avatar universal
There are many different causes for partial seizures, but, in regards to your question of whether the scar is the cause of the seizures, or whether it is the effect of intractable epilepsy, yes, it is a bit of a "snowball" effect.  Most likely the scar (was she born with it, or was it a result of an injury?) initiated her epilepsy, but chronic seizure activity in itself causes scarring of tissue, especially, for TLE, in the hippocampus, where her seizures could very well be coming from.  Scarring of tissue worsens seizures, as it (the scarred tissue) itself formualtes one or more seizure focus(i),  causing the epileptic activity to spread and worsen.
Are you sure this abnormality on her MRI is a scar?  I had refractory epilepsy for 13 years, which were also initiated by a "scar" in my left temporal lobe.  My seizures, compex partials, worsened over the years, often generalizing (secondary generalized tonic clonic seizures.)  I ended up undergoing a left temporal lobectomy, was the only means of getting my pretty severe epilepsy under better control.  The resected tissue, including part of the hippocampus, showed a lot of scarring, associated with "chronic seizure activity."  The "scar," though, turned out to be a brain tumor, which had been misdiagnosed for yeras.  This brain tumor was what initiated my epilepsy, although I needed a temporal lobectomy in order to get better seizure control, since the intra operative EEG testing recorded seizures coming from my hippocampus.  (I was very lucky the tumor didn't become malignant....the doctors had absolute s**t idiotic looks on their faces when they realized they had misdiagnosed this tumor for years.)  I just hope your ex doesn't also have a brain tumor.
Don't give up, regarding insurance: I got screwed after the surgery, and couldn't get insurance either.  I know hospitals take medicaid, though, if your ex can get medicaid....she could see a doc at an instate teaching hospital like RUSH or Mayo, have a surgical workup there (a long and detailed ordeal), and undergo surgery, if she is a candidate.  Hospitals must take state insurance.  
Good luck to you.  I do recommend considering surgery, if possible: seizures can kill, especially secondary generalized seizures, which often occur at night (mine were often, but not always, at night)...can cause the heart to stop beating, or breathing to stop (called SUDEP).  Hope you can help her get successful treatment, esp. since medication is not effective for her.  
Avatar universal
Forgot to mention: worsening seizure activity, often a result of tissue being scarred, which forms a new seizure focus or foci, is a process called "kindling."  Good to know.
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